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Howletts Wild Animal Trust

Charity Overview

The Aspinall Foundation is an internationally renowned conservation charity who are world leaders in the breeding, protection and reintroduction of endangered animals into the wild.  The charity work alongside Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks in Kent to support their conservation projects overseas. The Aspinall Foundation’s work spans four continents and protects over one million acres of vital rainforest.

The Port Lympne Reserve, in Kent, is home to the UK’s original and authentic safari experience. Set in over 600 acres, visitors are transported to the plains of Africa and Asia to see animals roaming freely, and are encouraged to explore on foot the big cats, small cats, primates, gorillas and many more species.

Watch the video to see what ICAP London staff got up to on their volunteer day at Howletts Wild Animal Park in June 2016.

Project Summary

The ICAP London staff were tasked with helping to provide enrichment to the animals. Enrichment is an important component of animal care at The Aspinall Foundation and can be incredibly time consuming for the staff. Enrichment devices such as hammocks constructed out of old industrial fire hoses are used to stimulate natural behaviours in the animals, such as foraging, problem solving and play.

The gorillas are undoubtedly the star attraction of the animal park and whilst they are part of the great apes, these animals are sadly the most endangered in the wild. Howlett’s and Port Lympne are world leaders in the captive management and breeding of this magnificent species, and to date the parks have had around 130 successful births.

An absolutely fantastic day – fun, educational, and we got the chance to help with actions not just money. As a plus, I got the chance to ‘network’ with people within ICAP that I wouldn’t normally come in to contact with in my day-to-day work, which has got to be good for the firm as well. I’m really looking forward to the next one.
Ian Smith, ICAP Data Administrator, ICAP.

The ICAP staff worked together as a team to construct the hammocks used in the gorilla enclosure and it was fulfilling to see the incredible animals interacting with the results of their efforts. It is necessary to keep on top of maintenance and regularly alter the enrichment so that animals are continually interested in novel devices. It is this that the ICAP volunteers spent most of their day doing, whilst also taking in the breath-taking views of the animal park.

What a fantastic volunteer day….it was a really wonderful experience and I’m so grateful to have been asked to join. I thought it was great getting to see what ICAP money has gone too, and I loved playing with the monkeys…seriously…how cool is their job?!
Fiona Jalil, Events Manager, ICAP.

Read about how The Howletts Wild Animal Trust benefitted from ICAP Charity Day 2013 here.