The Aspinall Foundation

Romance blossoms on the savannah

Posted by The Aspinall Foundation on 09-Oct-2020 12:54:52

The current government advice on social distancing means we are unable to run safaris for our day visitors at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, but we still want to keep you updated on the animals that live there.  Including the unfolding of the greatest love story of our time!  Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but we are just as in love with Donald the dwarf forest buffalo and his new lady friend, Kelly as they are with each other!

Dwarf-Forest-Buffalo_D7T9488_Kelly-Donald_SMALL Dwarf forest buffalo pair, Kelly (left) and Donald (right) at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve in Kent

For many of our Members and Season Pass holders,  Donald has been a familiar sight on The African Experience, where he could mostly be seen peacefully standing and chewing - living the quiet life!

Distinguished gentleman Donald, 21, was met with a nice surprise on 3rd September 2020, when an old flame from Marwell Zoo wandered back into his life in the form of Kelly; the beautiful copper coloured 23 year old.  The pair had previously lived together at Marwell Zoo before Donald came to us at Port Lympne Reserve in 2018. The reunion was very exciting and Donald instantly fell in love again - it is rare now to see one without the other!

Dwarf-Forest-Buffalo_D7T9578_KELLY_SMALL "Old flame" Kelly enjoying her new home at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve in Kent

Although they are inseparable, like all couples they do have their differences.  African Experience keeper, Victoria Snook said "As delighted as Donald is to have Kelly around, he does get annoyed with all the exercise she is making him do, as Donald loves the quiet life and a nice routine, however she loves to be all over the place exploring!"

Dwarf-Forest-Buffalo_D7T9606_Donald-Kelly_SMALL Like all couples, Donald and Kelly have their differences!

Kelly's striking good looks weren't an instant hit with the other animals though as Vicky explains; "As she is bright orange some of the animals have been a bit wary of her, but have slowly over the last month realised she is just a big brown cow".

We can't wait for you all to meet these two love birds (or buffalos!) as soon as it's safe to run the safari service again.  In the meantime, we appreciate your support in these exceptionally challenging times and we hope you and your loved ones remain safe.