Category: The Aspinall Foundation
If you are planning a holiday this October half term, why not visit Howletts near Cantebury Kent which is one of the UK’s most successful animal parks. This holiday, the park will ensure the kids will have lots of fun with plenty of prizes to be won in various competitions, free activities and educational talks that will be given over the whole holiday.
Activities every day
The fun starts on Saturday 24th October and will continue to Sunday 1st November with activities taking place every day. These include the frightening fact trail which will educate visitors on the dangers animals face in the wild as well as plenty of talks that are filled with fun and facts. There is also a touch table that is simply terrifying that will give visitors the opportunity to build a hotel for bugs that serves to protect creepy crawlies.
“‘We’re open every day throughout half term and we’re encouraging all our visitors to get into the spirit of Halloween early with all our frightful fun activities. This year we are also holding a fancy dress competition, on Saturday 31st October, where participating visitors can win some fantastic prizes.’ Neil Spooner, Animal Director said.
There will be a number of activities to celebrate Halloween including a fancy dress competition, plus visitors will be able to participate in a workshop for pumpkin carving. Later on guests will be able to see the animals enjoy the tasty treats. Howletts Wild Animal Park has consistently been rated as a top attraction by reviewers on TripAdvisor and was recently inducted into the site’s hall of fame.
Lots of things to do and see
The park will have its doors open over the entire half term period and visitors will have the opportunity to wander throughout the 90 acres of extremely beautiful natural parkland and spot rare and endangered species. If you are really lucky you may even get to see the latest arrivals to the park, the adorable baby gibbons and many more.
Its freezing in the UK at the moment and the onset of really cold weather can in some cases leaves people with very little time to prepare. Whilst that may be the case, there are some things that people should really try and do in order to cut the risk to their pets and provide assistance to wildlife. Here are a few tips for helping both your pets and wildlife make it through the coldest part of the year.
Small things can make a big difference
You could for example wipe down a horse following exercise which would cut back on the risk of chill. If you have rabbits indoors then an obvious thing to do is provide a tray of grass for them. There are many other simple things that lovers of wildlife can do, and these small things can make a very large difference. You should stop to consider how the weather is affecting not just the people around you, but the animals as well.
Winter is particularly challenging for animals
Winter can be particularly challenging for squirrels, hedgehogs and birds. Anywhere between one to two thousand wild animals are taken to RSPCA shelters every year between December, January and February. These animals are usually suffering from hunger, cold and dehydration. This means it is important for people to understand how to handle situations like this.
There are lots of things people can do to help
There are lots of things individuals can do. For example, you could make your garden friendly for wildlife. This means leaving out food and maintaining your garden pond. Access to unfrozen clean water can make all the difference to whether animals in the wild are able to survive the colder months. Just melting a small hole in your garden pond can make all the difference.
Make sure your cat has access to indoor litter
If you have a cat at home, the RSPCA is recommending that you make sure you provide them with enough litter trays indoors, not just during the cold months, but throughout the year. During the icy weather, the ground outside may end up frozen and if your cat usually goes to the toilet outside, it may be put off from doing so. This means it is really very important to ensure your cat has suitable indoor toilet facilities.
Leave a little food outside for wildlife
If you own a dog, then make sure you dress them in reflective coats when taking them on walks during the night which will help both of you to stay seen and safe. Nicola White, an expert from the RSPCA says it’s the small things that can make the difference. If you leave just a little bit of extra food outside, a hungry badger or robin may be able to last the whole winter.
“We can all struggle when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and our wildlife friends are often the most vulnerable to the extremes the elements take. They just need a bit of a helping hand sometimes.”
Category: The Aspinall Foundation
World renowned conservation group The Aspinall Foundation which has had unrivalled success in captive breeding of endangered species, says that it is beginning to take the initial steps of returning a group of Javan primates to their original home land where they have nearly been hunted to extinction.
The Aspinall Foundation says it will return a total of five Javan grizzled langurs. The organisation has already flown out the animals to the Javan Primates Rehabilitation Centre (JPRC) in West Java. There were two males and three females that have been returned plus an additional three Javan ebony langurs were also sent home from the Foundation’s Port Lympne Reserve.
Back To The Wild Initiative
Returning the animals to their original stomping ground is part of the Aspinall Foundation’s “Back to the Wild” initiative. Under the program, the charity is returning captively bred animals ranging from endangered species such as gibbons, black rhino, European bison, clouded leopards and gorillas to their native homeland where the survival of these species is being threatened.
Before leaving the UK the langurs were given a battery of veterinary checks to make sure the animals were not carrying any infectious diseases. The process will continue throughout their pre-release phase whilst they are in quarantine in Java. Once the langurs are released into the wild their breeding patterns, habits and movements will be closely monitored by a team of scientists.
Rebuilding Populations In The Wild
The purpose of the Javan project is to rebuild viable populations of primates in the wild, where numbers have dropped as a result of hunting and habitat destruction. Damian Aspinall, Chariman of the Foundation said:
“It is our guiding philosophy that modern conservation must embrace the over-riding need to breed endangered species and then return them safely to the wild in order to restore populations devastated by mankind. These animals belong in their natural habitats on the planet and therefore merely breeding animals and keeping them two by two in captivity for the entertainment of the public can no longer of itself be a valid conservation aim.”
Aside from increasing the indigenous population with captively bred primates and those primates that have been rescued by the charity’s East and West Java centres, the Foundation along with the government of Indonesia is seeking to reduce the practice of poaching and trading of the species through awareness, education and information.
Image Courtesy Of The Aspinall Foundation
Category: The Aspinall Foundation
Ambam is arguably the most famous western lowland gorilla and is a resident at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. He is celebrating his birthday in style after achieving fame when his gorilla walks like a man video went viral back in 2009 registering over 5.9 million hits. Ambam weighs 220 kilograms and has the ability to stand fully upright and is one of the few gorillas who is able to do this. If you are visiting the park you should also keep an eye out for Ambam’s sister Tamba who also has a two year old son Kabale, both of whom also have the ability to walk upright.
Recently Ambam celebrated his 24th birthday with a cake that was baked especially for him by SugarRush Baking Company in Hastings. The cake was completely gluten and sugar free and made using pumpkin seeds, bananas, apples and carrots. The bottom tier of the cake was made with icing made from apple puree and beetroot, whilst the top of the cake iced with ingredients such are swede puree, carrot and parsnip. The cake itself was decorated with almonds, banana chips, grapes, and aubergine.
Lynsey Mclean, owner of SugarRush Baking Company explains: “I was delighted to be asked to bake a birthday cake for Ambam and had a lot of fun designing it.”
Phil Ridges, Head of Gorillas adds: “All gorillas have the ability to stand upright to some degree although they often choose not to, but Ambam and his sister have a particular talent at standing and walking completely upright on two legs.”
At present Port Lympne Wild Animal Park serves as home to 20 lowland gorillas which are listed as being critically endangered. Gorilla numbers have declined by over 60 per cent over the last quarter century in response to habitat loss, disease induced mortality and high levels of hunting. Last summer the Park working in collaboration with the Aspinall Foundation sought to relocate a family of Gorillas from Kent back to Africa.
Image courtesy of The Aspinall Foundation.
Category: The Aspinall Foundation
The mission at Howletts Wild Animal Park is to preserve animals. Therefore it goes without saying the park is thrilled to announce the birth of a new Gelada Baboon.
It is still far too early to be able to tell the sex of the two week old infant however keepers are very happy with how well Sereba the mother of the new addition is caring for her new born. The Gelada Baboon is a unique species of primate in that it is the only type that feeds primarily on grass. The species is sociable and lives in large hierarchical groups.
Adam May a Primate Keeper at the park says he is extremely pleased that Sereba is taking care of her new born so well. Mr. May says the new addition should be a good playmate for its brother Leena who was born back in 2010.
Howletts Wild Animal Park likes to distinguish itself from regular zoos because of its dedication to animal conservation. The Park is well known for its extreme commitment to animal welfare. Howletts provides large enclosures that allows animals the freedom to enjoy foliage and privacy as they choose. The Park as a result has become one of the top breeding sanctuary’s for some of the most en
Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury in Kent, distinguishes itself from conventional zoos through its devotion to animal conservation and is well known for the high standards of its animal welfare. The park offers fantastic large enclosures that allow the animals to enjoy natural foliage and privacy as they choose. As a result, the park has successfully become a breeding sanctuary for some of the world’s most endangered animals.
Neil Spooner, Animal Director commented: “We are committed to providing the highest standards of animal conservation and hope to lead by example to other zoos. It has been great to celebrate so many animal births recently, and we are very proud of our latest gelada baboon infant.”
Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal Parks both work very closely with The Aspinall Foundation which is a leading animal conservation charity. In 2013 the charity was responsible for the successful return of a family of Western lowland gorillas from Kent to the African wild.
Image Courtesy of The Aspinall Foundation
Category: Animal Charities, RSPB
Great news emanating from our friends at the RSPB shop, where you can now receive free delivery on all your goods when you spend £25 or more. Simply order online before midnight on Monday 5th July 2013 to enjoy this great offer –
- Add voucher code – T13ITH0036
- Free delivery on £25 plus spend
- Offer ends 05/07/13
They are also offering loads of different gifts with up to 50% off, including rucksacks, bird feeders, kitchenware, notebooks, toys, and loads of other amazing goodies. 150 Suet balls are only £19.99 instead of £25.50, whilst a 5.5kg of table is is now available at half price when you spend over £35.
So why not save yourself some serious cash and help the RSPB with every purchase you make. Your purchase provide much needed funds to help the RSPB to protect the amazing birds and countryside of Great Britain.
Category: Animal Charities, WSPA
WSPA charity officials are asking Australia to stop exporting cattle from Egypt after terrible footage was uncovered on how the animals are being treated. Animals Australia managed to take the footage showing the Egyptians treating the cattle with extreme cruelty at their abattoirs, and now WSPA want the exports to be halted.
This isn’t the first time this has happened though. Back in 2006, cattle exports were halted from Australia to Egypt for nearly four years after concerns over the treatment of cattle were raised. Live exports to Indonesia were also stopped in 2011 after evidence of animal cruelty emerged.
Chief Executive for WSPA, Mike Baker, said –
This is not a one off; there is a history of cruelty and animals being subjected to the worst kind of abuse in the live export trade. It is unacceptable given there is a humane and economical solution to live export of animals. The live export industry would have us believe that conditions in abattoirs meet ‘suitable’ animal welfare standards and that they are improving animal welfare all over the world. This footage demonstrates this is evidently not true.
If you would like to help improve animal welfare for Australia cattle, why not stand up and be counted alongside WSPA by signing their petition to ask for a more ethical solution. Simply click on the link below to add your voice to those who want change, and want it now. It literally takes 30 seconds, and will go a long way to protecting Australian cattle from cruelty.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the WSPA, why not check out our dedicated charity page for more information. With your help, WSPA will try to stop animal cruelty at the source, protecting the world’s animals from mistreatment.
Category: Animal Charities, WWF
Not long now until Earth Hour 2013 folks, with just 8 days left at the time of writing. The whole spectacle kicks off at 8.30pm on Saturday 23rd March 2013, as millions of people turn off their lights for an hour to support pleas for more consideration to the planet and climate change.
This amazing annual event focuses on our need to protect the planet, after all, we only have one! Will you be one of the million supporters who choose to join in this year? If you do, there’s some amazing audiobooks available read by the likes of –
- Kevin McCloud
- Alistair McGowan
- Miranda Richardson
who have recorded exclusive stories for you to listen to, simply by signing up for Earh Hour 2013. The series is called ‘Just So’, and will feature world renowned stories such as How the Camel got his Hump, The Crab that Played with the Sea and How the Whale got his Throat by celebrated author Rudyard Kipling. These have been specifically created for you to listen to on the night whilst your lights are off, and last a total of 60 minutes. They will be the perfect accompaniment to your hour of darkness, so why not light a candle, snuggle up under a duvet, at let these amazing actors read to you during Earth Hour 2013.
> > Click here for more info on ‘Just So’ stories
By turning your lights off for one hour this Saturday at 8.30pm, you will be showing the world that you want a better future for our planet. Here’s hoping that the world’s leaders join us in our stand against dirty fossil fuels and put plans into motion to use more green, renewable energy to help the planet during it’s hour of need. Earth Hour 2013. Are you doing enough to save the planet?
If you would like to help this amazing charity and the planet, why not purchase a WWF membership to help save threatened species and preserve life on Earth. This is a great charity gift for an eco-friendly family member or colleague, and your donations really count in helping to save the planet.
Category: Animal Charities, WSPA
You may remember that back in November last year, we asked for your help to support the WSPA’s work to stop sea turtle farming in the Cayman Islands. Well, we have some fantastic news filtering through, that thanks to everyone who got being this cause, the company has decided to make many positive changes to their business.
An amazing 144,000 people supported the WSPA’s call for change, making it very difficult for the Cayman Turtle Farm to ignore. This all came about after an investigation by the wildlife charity into how the animals were suffering due to their shocking conditions. The farm has now admitted that the turtles in their care are suffering from health problems, and have agreed to make a change to their business model.
WSPA Wildlife Campaign Leader, Dr. Neil D’Cruze, said –
While in many ways we are pleased with the outcome of today’s meeting, WSPA continues to believe that minor improvements will not and cannot address the long term root cause of this suffering: green sea turtles are wild solitary animals that simply cannot adapt to life crammed into a farm with 9000 others. Now is the moment where we expect the Cayman Turtle Farm to start demonstrating a real and serious commitment to change. We will strive to continue to work with the Farm to identify a solution that has the best interests of these turtles at its heart. The Cayman Turtle Farm appear to have accepted that the sea turtles in their care do have health problems. This promising step is down to the strength of your voices, so thank you. However, this admission doesn’t go far enough for us though – sea turtles are still suffering, so we will keep up the fight.
Even Tanya Streeter, the free diving world champion (pictured on the right) joined WSPA to deliver the 144,000 strong petition to not just the farm’s management team, but also the Caymanian Government to put an end to sea turtle farming on the island. It just goes to show you if we all pull together and fight for the same cause, businesses and governments have no choice but to stand up and take notice of what is right and wrong.
If you would like to learn more about the work of WSPA, why not check out our dedicated charity page where you can make a donation to help provide much needed funds to aid their animal rights campaigns across the globe.
Category: Animal Charities, RSPB
Have any of you heard any mystery bird songs during the evening? The RSPB has been receiving a lot of calls from homeowners who suspect that Nightingales may be out singing their winter songs. But the RSPB wildlife team seem to be pretty sure it’s actually our good friend the Robin redbreast that is having a good old sing song.
Robins are usually one of the first birds that are ‘up and at ’em’ first thing in the morning. This means they are used to singing in low light conditions, so the evening is also the perfect time to for them to clear their throats for a good old sing song.
Birds mainly sing to attract a mate, or to defend their territory. The Robin is one of the few birds who protect their own ‘patch’ during the winter, and this is also one of the reasons why they continue to sing when most other birds have stopped.
RSPB wildlife advisor, Richard James, said –
We’ve had lots of calls from people sharing what they’d spotted during their Big Garden Birdwatch, but many also called rather excitedly to say they’d heard nightingales singing in the evenings. They were a little disappointed when we told them the birds were almost certainly robins, although they were still surprised to find out these birds sing at night. Before the cold weather took hold, we had a number of reports of night-singing birds, but that stopped when the snow arrived. Since it melted across most of the country this weekend, the birds have started up again and as we head towards the breeding season, this should increase.
It’s strange to thing of a Robin having it’s own territory. I mean, it doesn’t exactly look tough! So if you hear an evening song, just know it’s a gang of Robins protecting their patch from some other hoodlums who are trying to step up, just to get a rep!
If you would like to learn more about the work of the RSPB, or would even like to purchase a membership, check out our dedicated charity page for more information.