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African bull elephant arrives at Kent animal park

Coco arrived from Cabarceno National Park in Spain Credit: Howletts Wild Animal Park

Keepers at an animal park in Kent are celebrating the arrival of Coco, the African bull elephant.

Coco who's 15 arrived at Howletts from Cabarceno National Park in Spain. His arrival is part of an international breeding programme, which saw the park's other male elephant, Jums, travelling to a new home in Spain.

"The elephant transfer went very smoothly. We’re sure that Coco will eventually settle in well with our established herd and will become a firm favourite with our visitors. I’m delighted to confirm that Jums has also settled in very well at Cabarceno. International breeding programmes like these are vital for the health and welfare of our elephants and help to secure the future of the species. We’re going to let Coco settle in and get used to his new surroundings, then we plan to introduce him to the herd here. I think the females will love him."

– Neil Spooner, Animal Director
It's hoped Coco will be a hit with the female elephants Credit: Howletts Wild Animal Park

Coco was born on the 14th June in 2000 and he's already successfully mated several females at his former home in Spain.

Keepers at Howletts are hoping he'll be a hit with the female herd, so they can continue their impressive breeding record with African elephants.

"Coco is already settling in well at Howletts. I think that our females Jama and Jara will be particularly interested in getting to know him. They are both excellent mothers to the younger members of the herd and will soon be ready to start families of their own."

– Natalie Boyd, Head of Elephant Section

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Wild dog pups play around in the spring sunshine

The recent warm weather has put a spring in the step of some dhole, or Asian wild dog, pups!

They were caught playing together in the sunshine.

Head of Carnivore Section at Howletts Wild Animal Park said, "The pups are getting really confident now and love playing around and annoying the adults, they're really entertaining to watch."

Adorable dhole puppies make their spring debut!

A litter of cute dhole pups, or Asian wild dogs, have been making their debut at an animal park in Kent.

The 12 pups have appeared just in time for the May half term at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury.

The 9-week-old pups with their mother Credit: Howletts Wild Animal Park

At just 9-weeks-old, they are growing in confidence and have been spotted playing around according to one of the keepers.

Ben Warren, head of carnivore section at the park also said, "To have a litter of 12 healthy and active pups is quite unusual. Visitors to the park should have no problem spotting them in their enclosure near the Gatehouse."

Two of the cute pups bask in the sun! Credit: Howletts Wild Animal Park

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Rare Chinese cats get new home

Rare Chinese leopards have moved into their new home at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury.

The elusive animals from north China aren't often seen in captivity. A new glass fronted enclosure's been specially built for them.

Neil Spooner, Animal Director said: "Leopards occupy the largest geographical range of any species of cat. They are found throughout Africa, Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, north into China and the Russian Federation.

"Sadly the north Chinese leopard is now restricted to small fragmented populations in northern China."

Leopard Spotting

A North Chinese Leopard explores its new home at Howletts Credit: Dave Rolfe

The North Chinese Leopard is a rare and elusive beast - and up to now visitors to a Kent wildlife park have been lucky to catch a glimpse of the three which are kept there.

Now though Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury has introduced a glass-fronted enclosure which contains natural foliage as well as high platforms and climbing poles to encourage the leopards to behave naturally.

A North Chinese leopard enjoys the views in the open top enclosure. Credit: Dave Rolfe

It should also make them much easier to spot.

The leopards are famous for their distinctive markings - they have a darker coat than other leopards, spotted with dark rosettes.

Neil Spooner, Animal Director said: ''This is great news for the leopards. ‘Leopards occupy the largest geographical range of any species of cat.

''They are found throughout Africa, Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, north into China and the Russian Federation. Sadly the north Chinese leopard is now restricted to small fragmented populations in northern China.''

Troupe welcomes endangered baby monkey

Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, has welcomed a newborn Sulawesi macaque into its midst.

The mini macaque, born just three weeks ago, joins its slightly older and adventurous siblings to take the troupe’s numbers to twelve.

Head Primate Keeper, Matt Ford said: "This little one is really cute and is progressing very well - the youngster is a fast learner and is already starting to find its own feet rather than be carried by mum.

"I’m sure it won’t be long before visitors can see it bouncing around and playing with its brothers and sisters."

Sulawesi macaques are one of the most endangered of the macaque species found in Sulawesi and have been classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered, due to habitat destruction and hunting.

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