Hand-reared Gorilla now thriving at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent

After being rejected by her mother at birth, baby gorilla Yaounde is now thriving at Howletts Wildlife Park in Kent.

Yaounde was born on 19th June 2019, weighing just 1.04kg at birth and was abandoned by her mother. Howletts Wild Animal Park keepers stepped in as foster parents to hand-raise the new-born and have done a spectacular job at giving Yaounde the best start in life. In the wild, baby gorillas stay attached to their mother 24/7, which has been the case for her human foster parents.

Yaounde now weighs a healthy 5.19kg! Howletts are proud to have a team of extremely dedicated keepers and because of them Yaounde is fighting fit. The infant is slowly and carefully being introduced to the gorilla group with the hope she will be welcomed into the family.

Howletts Wild Animal Park is a breeding sanctuary for rare and endangered species. Working in conjunction with The Aspinall Foundation, Howletts aim to, wherever possible, return animals born at the park to protected areas of their natural habitat. The Aspinall Foundation have released over 70 western lowland gorillas back to the wild, operate a gorilla orphanage in Congo and protect an area the size of Kent on the Congo/Gabon border. They also manage conservation projects in Indonesia, Madagascar and South Africa, as well as providing financial support to various partner projects around the world.

Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation said: ‘we are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated team working across our Foundation, all of whom are passionately committed to safeguarding the future of our animals. Yaounde is kept under the watchful eyes of her carers 24 hours a day and they monitor her closely to ensure she continues to build her strength.’

A visit to Howletts directly supports vital conservation work, protecting some of the most vulnerable species on the planet from becoming extinct. With over 400 animals across 50 individual species set in 100 acres of ancient parkland, plus plenty of new births and arrivals, visitors have the opportunity to see animals at Howletts that they won’t see anywhere else in the UK.