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Damian Aspinall
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Animal Expert
    (May 24, 1960- )
    Born in Somerset, United Kingdom
    Birth name is John Damian Androcles Aspinall
    English businessman, zoologist, activist, and conservationist
    Son of famed British socialite, zoo owner and gambler, John 'Aspers' Aspinall
    Chairman of the John Aspinall Foundation (2000 - )
    Featured in Animal Planet's 'Gorilla School'
    Manages Howletts and Port Lympne, where 120 gorillas have been born
    Best known for his controversial initiative to return zoo-bred animals to their natural habitats in Africa
    Released 51 lowland gorillas to secure areas in Gabon, West Africa
    His aristocrat father spoiled him rotten as a child.
    A video of his toddler daughter playing with a 300-pound gorilla went viral on Youtube, stirring controversy as to the both the scenario's safety and appropriateness (Sept. 15, 2012).
    He is the most vocal advocate for the abolition all public zoos and for the animals' subsequent release into the wild (despite being one of Britain's most famous zoo owners).
    He elaborated on his stance by saying 'what we’re doing is culturalising our children to say it’s OK that man is the dominant species. It’s just wrong. We need to de-culturalise the public and phase zoos out.'
    He spent a fortune to covert close to one million acres to a private national 'gorilla school' park designed to simulate the African jungles they would eventually be released into.
    He ignored warnings from gorilla protection groups that the project was a disaster waiting to happen, brushing them off and calling himself 'a maverick' for attempting such an experiment.
    Unsurprisingly, the domesticated gorillas were unable to make the adjustment to the rigors of the wild, resulting in many of them dying off, among them a baby gorilla.
    The gorillas' lethal dependency on Aspinall and other humans was evinced in footage showing him being reunited with several overjoyed gorillas, with one of them even refusing to release him when he attempted to leave.
    When confronted over his culpability in the gorillas' deaths, he was nonchalant, showing little concern and referring to it as 'a hell of a setback.'
    He even went so far as to suggest that his opponents were giddy and gloating about the news, 'jumping up and down,' expressing more dismay over the hit his reputation would take.
    He exacerbated the fragile state of a population already listed as an 'endangered species' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
    He is the embodiment of every negative stereotype held about animal rights activists - self-aggrandizing, naïve, reckless, and hypocritical.
    He briefly dated former Miss UK Kirsty Roper.
    His father cut him off from his wealth as he grew older.
    He went on to independently earn his wealth by going heavy into real estate.
    His intentions are generally good, even if he relies on unconventional methods.
    He was scolded by Lesley Stahl during his 60 Minutes appearance.
    His work with other species of animals in other parts of the world may have met with more success.
    He has worked closely with Prince William to promote his anti-poaching initiative.
    His reunion with Kwibi, the celebrity gorilla released when 5 years old in 2005, went viral on YouTube (Apr. 21, 2010).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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