FAAC goes to the zoo
All gates to the elephant enclosure at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent can now be operated remotely following the installation of FAAC automatic sliding gate operators and a customised access control device. The new system was specified by wild animal park owners, the Aspinall Foundation, following the successful implementation of a similar gate automation programme at nearby Port Lympne elephant enclosure the previous year.
The system was designed and installed by leading FAAC approved installers, Sevenoaks-based Securigate Ltd. The 844 sliding gate operator from FAAC has been fitted to all twelve gates within the elephant enclosure and a custom-designed wire-free portable remote control programmable transmitter based on FAAC’s 868 radio control unit enables each gate to be opened remotely at the touch of a button.
Working with keepers at the wild animal park, Securigate and FAAC engineers developed a unique rechargeable long range radio signalling device that can be carried on a strap around the keepers’ bodies as they move about their work. Gates can be opened and closed remotely, safely controlling the movement of elephants within the enclosure.
The system has been carefully designed to be completely safe in operation, both for the keepers, and for the animals. The 844 operator was chosen as it features a non-reversing worm screw gear motor, ensuring that the elephants cannot push the gate back once the motor has stopped. Suitable for single gates up to 40m long and weighing up to 1800kg, 844 operators can be specified for use with both rack and chain applications.
Howletts & Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks were set up by the late John Aspinall with the aim of protecting and breeding rare and endangered species and returning them to safe areas in their native homeland. World leaders in conservation, the parks have so far returned to the wild Przewalski’s horses, Black rhino, Sumatran rhino, Cape buffalo, ocelots, pythons and gorillas.