'Inseparable' Howler monkey couple at Port Lympne celebrate 17th anniversary on Valentine's Day

 Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve
It was said to be love at first sight for Tolkein and Clyde Credit: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

An "inseparable" howler monkey couple are celebrating their 17th anniversary this Valentine's Day.

It was said to be love at first sight for Tolkein and Clyde at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve in Kent.

When they first met at the animal park in 2006, Clyde would follow her around endlessly and liked nothing more than just sitting next to her.

He still does this now and will either rest his chin on her back, or they will sit side by side.

The happy couple have had six children together and are now enjoying their retirement.

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Tolkien was born at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve on 11 May 2001 and is the third generation of Howlers born there.

She was very affectionate as a baby but had no one to play with - until she got some younger siblings.

Clyde was born on 15 March 1998 in Singapore and came to Port Lympne Hotel in February 2006.

Tragedy struck with both their first two young dying before they reached 6 months old due to natural causes.

Tolkien was devastated - she did not want to eat for weeks and became very withdrawn.

Clyde stuck by her side and supported her through this. Their next four young happily all survived into adulthood.

Two of their sons, Merry and Gimli, still live with them today in the same enclosure at Port Lympne Reserve.

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