Aspinall Animal Parks

Portcullis have provided maintenance services, our pre-planned maintenance contract and emergency breakdown service, for the elephant enclosures at both the Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury and the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Hythe.

About the Project

Because of the health, safety and welfare risks for both the elephants and their keepers, the pre-planned gate maintenance service is carried out quarterly to maintain compliance with health and safety legislation and a high level of security.

All of the elephant areas use the same bespoke electric sliding gate automation systems, controlled by customised remote access control boxes and protected by metal enclosures.

The access control boxes are wireless and enable the elephant keepers to open and close the gates remotely, to safely control the movement of the elephants within their enclosures. The access control boxes contain rechargeable battery packs, which allows elephant keepers to carry them around as they carry out their work.


    What We Installed
    • Gate Automation with Remote Access Control

    Animal Park Site Layouts

    The layouts of the Port Lympne and the Howletts elephant enclosures, differ considerably so naturally maintenance requirements also vary. The Port Lympne consists of ten electric sliding gates, inside one large enclosure, whereas Howletts’ gate maintenance is carried out in several buildings, around one courtyard area.

      In addition to the obvious external electric gates which act as doors to the elephant enclosure, both sites also have electric sliding gates inside the enclosure. This set up allows the elephants to move between the different areas, permitted by the keepers via the remote-control boxes.

      About the Aspinall

      Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks come under the Aspinall Foundation, set up by the late John Aspinall with the aim of conservation through captive breeding, education and reintroduction. They work with some of the most fragile environments to save endangered animals. Their three main strands of work are to halt the extinction of endangered species, provide as natural a habitat as possible in their animal parks, increase and improve public perception of animal welfare.

      Today, the Foundation is managed by John Aspinall’s son Damien Aspinall as they continue to release a range of animals back into the wild in the past few years alone, including 8 black rhino, 6 grizzled langurs and 18 ebony langurs, 7 Javan gibbons, 11 European bison and over 70 western lowland gorillas

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