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Image: Aspinall Foundation
Image: Aspinall Foundation

John Aspinall Foundation was born from the idea of John Aspinall setting up a zoo on his property. The Foundation oversees two zoos: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park and Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent, England. Apart from running the zoos, the Foundation campaigns on a range of wildlife-related issues, like opposing Chinese moves to relax the rules regarding the trade in products made from tigers.

The tigers, however, pose a real threat to the Aspinalls’ zoos — five keepers were killed by animals, two by the same tiger within a matter of days of each other in 1980. “The first death, the keeper shut the tiger off, and then went in to clean the cage, but the tiger jumped the fence and killed him,” Aspinall would tell reporters years later, “They thought he had gone into the cage when the tiger was there, and couldn’t work out why. Before he died he’d scrawled the letter “F” and nobody knew what it was. A week later the other keeper went in and exactly the same thing happened. And it seems the first keeper was trying to write the word “fence.”

But the world mostly knows the Foundation for its connection to gorillas…

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