Plea for help as Aspinall animal parks in Kent face 'unprecedented crisis'

Contributed by editor on Mar 28, 2020 - 01:00 PM

Black rhino at Port Lympne Reserve © The Aspinall Foundation


Following Government advice surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), both Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, and Howletts Wild Animal Park have announced they are to temporarily close.

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The parks say the coronavirus lockdown has cut off vital visitor income, which they rely on to care for 1300+ rare and endangered animals.

Parks’ Managing Director, Tony Kelly has appealed directly to the public, asking for crucial support, saying: “It is critical to us that we continue to generate income. It costs us £1.5 million per year just to feed our animals. Without the continued support of our guests, visitors and members, we are facing an unprecedented crisis.”

Howletts near Canterbury and Port Lympne, near Ashford, work closely with international conservation charity.


Despite the closure, the keepers and vets at both parks are working hard to continue to deliver an excellent level of care, with some keepers even living on site.


The keepers and vets are continuing to self-distance, with extra cleaning regimes in place and have also been provided with thermometers so temperature checks can be performed for all the animal teams daily.

Managing Director, Tony Kelly continues: “I realise this is a difficult time for all families, but I ask that you consider donating to our Animal Support Fund by visiting .

"Any donation, no matter how small, will help us to feed and look after our animals. Your support is critical, now more than ever. On behalf of all the team, I would like to thank you for your exceptional support during this challenging time.”

The public can also support the animals in the parks’ care by purchasing an essential item from the Amazon Wish List or donating any of the following items:

Herbal tea
Nuts & seeds
Fresh meat or fish
Nut butters

For more information on how to donate and to view the Amazon Wish List, visit

For further information on the closure of both parks visit

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