Damian Aspinall is a prominent conservationist, businessman and Chairman of internationally renowned animal conservation charity, The Aspinall Foundation. As Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, Damian runs the most ambitious rewilding program in the world to date. Over 600 animals have been rescued and rewilded including Elephants, Gorillas, Cheetah, Rhino, Gibbons, Langurs, Lions, Hyena, Bison, Serval, Jackal, Crocodiles and many more. There is no other organisation in the world attempting these projects.
As Chairman of The Howletts Wild Animal Trust he is responsible for two world class wild animal sanctuaries, specialising in the breeding of rare animals and rewilding captive animals.
These sanctuaries hold world records for breeding a number of species and world records for rewilding captive animals.
“I grew up in a household where gorillas, tigers and wolves roamed free. As a result of this extraordinary childhood, I have been a keen animal lover from a young age. My interest in conservation and the knowledge I consumed over the years on the role of zoos led me to conclude some pretty radical observations on what the best way forward is for captive animals. After years believing that zoos had some positive role in animal conservation, it became obvious to me the public had been sold a myth and actually, zoos did nothing towards the aim they set out to do.
I believe it is important to make the public aware of the truth around animals in captivity. I am on record stating all zoos should be phased out over the next 20-30 years.
Our rewilding projects around the world in South Africa, Gabon, Congo, Java, Sumatra, Zimbabwe and Kenya are a great source of pride to me and I aim to continue this ground-breaking work over the coming years.
From a business point of view, I started out very young with no education no trust fund, or inheritance, after travelling the world for four years going on endless adventures and getting into all sorts of trouble. I ended up back in the UK, where I founded my first property company.
At the age of 26, I reversed my property company into Phoenix Property and Finance, a public company and became the youngest MD of a UK public company.
I founded the first internet company floated on the London Stock Market ‘Internet Technology Group’ and I founded Aspers Casino Group which has a portfolio of UK casinos and was the first casino company to modernise and reshape the UK gaming industry.”