Wednesday, 30 December 2009


What with the snow, ice and cold winds, followed by copious lashings of rain it's not been great outdoor weather for much of the time - other than over Christmas when the winter sunshine and blue skies added a special magic to the holiday spirit here at the Park. Even our ducks and penguins have been looking for shelter this week!
It's incredible to think that we're about to embark on a new decade! We've been so busy with plans for next year, with Christmas festivities sprinkled in between, the month of December has slipped by ..... we take this opportunity to wish all our friends out there a very happy new year and all the very best for 2010.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


It's always summery at Seaview!

Pictured here earlier this week is Animal Keeper, Jake Cousins, who says there's no point in telling the mother ducks not to hatch-out their broods whilst they're so well cared for at Seaview Wildlife - this little gaggle hatched out just a couple of weeks ago and the Keepers are giving Mum a helping hand by keeping them warm at night under a heat lamp!

(Photo: Jules Brittan)


Ho Ho Ho!!! Dippy our Head Honcho Humboldt Penguin is in the festive spirit!

Dippy is a 14 year-old, hand-reared, 'imprinted' penguin that we acquired many years ago from another Park. He is the only member of our penguin colony not to pair off with another penguin - he'd rather be in the company of humans and saves all his attention and affection for the Keepers and for the visiting public! As a result we're able to have some fun with him and involve him in a lot more activities than would normally be possible. Hopefully you'll already be familiar with Dippy and some of his antics as a result of his recent launch onto Facebook (you can become friends with Dippy by logging onto Dippy Seaview).

This message brings very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year - to all our friends and customers - from Dippy and all of us here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. We look forward to seeing you again in 2010!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Tara and Tash's school visits!

There is no rest for the first day back at the park, Tasha and myself prepared some of the animals for their first day at school!

The first school we visited was St Wilfreds pre- school, Ventnor, where the children aged between 2-4 years were very intrigued by Cornelious our Corn snake from Central America.

Our next stop was just across the road to St. Boniface pre- school where as you can see Tasha and the children got their hands full with some Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches! We weren't alone though, Jason from the gazette met us there and took the opportunity to snap some shots of Fluffy our beautiful New Zealand Giant Rabbit enjoying the attention from all the children and her chance of fame!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Tara is back!

Well I will leave you with the image of these beautiful African Penguins, preparing themselves for a swim! These adult penguins believe it or not came in covered in oil, unfortunately a very common occurance, but thanks to the hard work of SANCCOB and the dedicated volunteers they are almost ready for release after having a good old scrub!
So was it worth all the cuts and bruises?.....DEFINITELY! I have lots of very treasured memories of SANCCOB and South Africa made easy by AVIVA (volunteer programme) and everyone that supported me prior to my departure...thankyou!
Now I have to make it up to all the animals that I left behind at the Park, although it looks like Dippy has a new friend!

Tara is back!

When not working at SANCCOB I got the chance to do some wildlife spotting from the land and at sea. This is one of my favourite photos taken whilst on my way to Robben Island (Nelson Mandela was imprisioned here) of a flock of Sacred Ibis! The wildlife in South Africa never ceases to amaze me, with flocks of Pelicans often flying over head and Flamingos seen feeding in one of the local reserves as well as Southern Right Whales just casually playing in the Bay, South Africa is definitely every wildlife enthusiast's heaven!

Tara is back!

After a tearful farewell to all the African Penguins, my new found friends, Wildlife and of course not forgetting....the sun, I returned safely back to the harsh reality of winter in England on Friday morning.

Where do I's surprising how much you can squeeze in in only six weeks!

Well firstly my time at SANCCOB has been such a valuable practical and personal expereince. The work that is done there is incredible, especially given the confined grounds in which the centre is located. The local volunteers are so dedicated in rehabilitating the sick, oiled or injured birds that arrive at the centre, and it gave me a real sense of pride and achievement to be actively involved in saving the African Penguin and other birds. Maybe the only thing that I won't miss is the lovely green oil skins that we wore!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


This is a team photo - kindly taken by Alan Marriott, Editor of The Isle of Wight County Press - at Cowes Yacht Haven Gala Awards Dinner on Friday night (27th November) - in celebration of being awarded first prize in the category 'GoWight Tourism & Leisure' at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism & Industry Business Awards for Excellence 2009.

This coveted Award recognises the Park for combining ongoing growth as a Tourist Attraction on the Island, with excellence in wildlife education and conservation. Seaview Wildlife Encounter is situated in a beautiful parkland setting with rolling vistas down towards the Solent. This is a really special day out where there is something for everyone - whether you're looking for peace and tranquility - by the lake feeding wildfowl from your hands, or wandering in the oasis known as the Tropical House - or being involved in a range of fun activities.

The in-season daily events include educational quizzes, 9 keeper talks; opportunities for feeding of penguins, wallabies and parrots; a chance to meet the otters and the meerkats; have a close-up with the gang in Pets Corner as well as with the cold-blooded creatures at 'bugs and reptiles'.

There are superb photographic and artistic opportunities within a natural unspoilt environment. Visitors are able to feed and interact with a wide variety of birds and animals - a chance to be at one with nature, away from the rat race and the demands of modern-day life.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

All smiles as keepers celebrate award and new nomination!

This photo of the Animal Care Team was taken by Jason Kay at the IOW Gazette just a few days ago - the keepers are at the penguin pool proudly displaying the Park's Silver Award Certificate for "Best Visitor Experience" in the SE of England. The smiles are continuing with the news that we've been shortlisted by the IOW Chamber of Commerce, Tourism & Industry, Business Awards For Excellence 2009! The team are looking forward to attending the black tie gala dinner this coming Friday evening at Cowes Yacht Haven, East Cowes. We hope to report back with further on this in the Blog next week ......

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tara has her hands full at SANCCOB!

Hello all! Well as you can see I have my hands full with a beautiful African Penguin chick...this is just one, we actually have 96 of them which arrived at the weekend! The chicks were rescued from Dyer Island and brought to SANCCOB to be taken care of until they are old enough to be released back into the wild. Unfortunately the chick's parents have started to moult and therefore are no longer able to catch fish for their young, which if left would eventually starve to death! Due to the fact many of them are under-nourished we have the responsibility of feeding and tubing fluids into the young every two hours!
Today I went on my first release, just me, eight Penguins, a Comorant and really makes all the guano and bites worth it as you see them back where they belong, although they all looked a bit bewildered by the whole experience and almost jumped back on the boat! Anyway as you can imagine I am having a fantastic experience out here in South Africa with only just over a week to go I will find it hard to say goodbye to this beautiful country with all its beautiful wildlife!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Update on two special Park residents - Humphrey Humboldt and our 'Boys Behaving Badly'!

HUMPHREY the HUMBOLDT PENGUIN is now eight months old. This photo was taken recently by David Nordell and shows the young penguin in fine fettle despite his spinal deformity. Visitors to the Park during this summer may remember that Humphrey hatched and grew with an unmistakable hump on his back. Many of you have asked for an update on his progress and we're pleased to be able to report that, so far, Humphrey is thriving! He was the first of this year's penguin chicks to feed independently and has been readily accepted by the others despite looking slightly different. He swims adeptly and manages quite well on land too. Humphrey has had a couple of health-checks by our veterinarian who is pleased with his development.
The other photo by David Nordell shows 'Frank Sinatra', one of the three ASIAN SHORTCLAWED OTTERS that came to live at the Park in April of this year. He's enjoying a piece of Rainbow Trout - part of his stricltly carnivorous diet. We endeavour to simulate the natural diet as closely as possible by feeding a daily selection of fish, crustaceans, mince, chicken and eggs.
The three Otters are brothers, bred at a New Forest Park, where they were part of a large family group. When they first arrived at Seaview Wildlife Encounter they were quite shy and spent the first couple of weeks in and around their new holt. However, they're now completely settled in - with their cheeky, chatty personalities having come playfully to the fore! They seem to love their new enclosure - it allows them plenty of space and includes two large areas of water and a water feature, a well-grassed surround with important areas of dry sand (for rolling in to dry off after swimming) and a pebble-pit (where they pick out small stones to juggle with - great enrichment for these dextrous, playful little creatures!).
Initially the otters allowed keepers into their enclosure without much response, but as their confidence has grown they've become increasingly territorial - no longer the 'meek and mild', more often now the 'wild and wonderful' - as they sneak up and brazenly hang off our boots whilst we're feeding them or attempting to clean their holt! It's great to know they're feeling at home and are now our 'boys behaving badly'!!


Dippy, our Head Honcho Humboldt Penguin has launched himself into being the first real Penguin ever to join Facebook .....

Making use of this modern communication platform Dippy decided to take the plunge! This is a ground-breaking new adventure where the main objective is to have some fun!

Whilst he's making new friends and enjoying some light-hearted banter, Dippy is hoping to be able to participate in a wide spectrum of discussions with his new Facebook friends - anything from frivolous flutters to focussed forums! Conservation is always on his mind, but laughter never leaves his heart.....

Anyone who is interested can reach Dippy for a chat on Facebook (Dippy Seaview).

Monday, 16 November 2009

Update on Willaby the orphaned Wallaby Joey

For those of you who have asked after Willaby, our orphaned albino Wallaby, we're very pleased to be able to report that he's doing really well!! This photo, taken earlier today, shows Willaby, now aged 10 months, being fed by Head Keeper Craig Holmes, assisted by Keeper Jake Cousins. Willaby now spends all his time with the rest of the mob of Wallabies at the Park and has formed a close friendship with one of the other Joeys, a brown female that we call Stumpy (she has small ears!) Willaby's supplementary milk feeds take place twice a day and have increased to huge proportions (as you can see from the mammoth-sized syringe above!) In between times he enjoys grazing on the lush grass and tucks in well to the selection of fruit, vegetables and special pellets that all the Wallabies enjoy on a daily basis.
(Photo: Jules Brittan)

Monday, 9 November 2009

Letter from our Bank Manager at NatWest Newport

"Just a short note to say congratulations to you all on winning the Silver award with the accolade 'tremendous family run attraction'. Well deserved." P J Mitchell, Senior Business Manager, NatWest, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Letter and photos of the week - David Nordell

David Nordell:
"I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed three visits to your Park during October, I was very fortunate, weatherwise, on two occasions, being an amateur nature photographer this was a bonus. The Park is so well maintained and all the animals, birds, etc are so well cared for and seem happy and healthy.
The Keepers are very knowledgable and obviously care very much about their charges. A special thanks to Natasha for taking time to answer my questions. I look forward to next spring when I shall be visiting you again."

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Early winter flu bugs descend on the Park!

The Park closed for the winter on the 1st of November. Leading up to this date it was a really busy season - a great hustle and bustle of activity - lots happening and lots of visitors! Here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter we've all been buzzing and the adrenaline has been pumping! However, last week it was as though the winter flu bugs spotted us starting to relax and they dived in to have a field day! Just about the whole team have gone down with some 'lurgy' or other - some days we have been down to half the normal number of Keepers - but all still got done! Fortunatley the animals and birds wern't prone to catching any of our maladies, so their lives have continued unaffected. There's no doubt all our birds and animals are missing the visiting public - the Keepers are being followed like the 'Pied Piper' by ducks, geese, chickens, guinea fowl (and others!) throughout the day!

Monday, 2 November 2009


" I love this Park ~ the penguins are awesome!" Danni, S. Wales

"Only been here half an hour and loving it already! Can't wait for the feeding and talks to start" Jan & Phil, Churchdown, Gloucester

"The best value for money, kind staff, food great ~ very good" A. Morgan, Totland

"Great day out, 2nd time this year. Looking forward to our next visit. Lovely, friendly Park. Will tell all our friends about it. Keep up the good work. Love it here." Billinghurst Family, Surrey.

"What a treasure! Everything well cared for and beautiful animals/birds. Thank you." Jan Smith & Family, Kent.

Thursday, 29 October 2009


27th October, 2009

Dear Miss Adams,

As Deputy Leader of the Isle Of Wight Council and Cabinet Member with responsibilities for Tourism, I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you personally and on behalf of the Isle Of Wight Council following your recent success at the 2009 Tourism Excellence Awards, organised by Tourism South East.

There are many successful businesses within the tourism industry here on the Island and winning Silver in the Best Tourism Experience category is a huge achievement and further establishes and reinforces the developing reputation of the Isle Of Wight as a visitor destination.

Best wishes for your continued success,

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Cllr George Brown M.A. (Cantab)
Isle Of Wight Councillor for Cowes Medina,
Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Planning.


We are incredibly proud to announce our success at last week's South East Tourism awards held at the prestigious Wentworth Club in Surrey. Seaview Wildlife Encounter was presented with the Silver Award in the category "Best Visitor Experience". Lorraine and Jules are both horrified at the only photo that has been forwarded of the event, but Gyles Brandreth is so dashing and hopefully makes up for the other two! The judges, who visited Seaview Wildlife Encounter during August this year described the Park as a "tremendous family-run attraction". This award marks the beginning of a new chapter of achievement and excellence for us. We're looking forward to the winter months to have some extra time to crystalise our many exciting ideas for the year ahead. Watch this space ..........................!

Monday, 26 October 2009

A few words from our photographer friend...

Our photographer friend Mark Harding has posted a nice note to congratulate us on our recent award, more news to come from us on that later, but here's a taster:

"I must say a heart-felt congratualtions to my friends at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, who this week were awarded SILVER at the Tourism South East TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2009. Since working with Lorraine and Jules this year to help them with their imaging requirements for the park, I have seen how dedicated they are both to their animals, and to the visiting public.

Zoos and wildlife parks are sometimes criticised for keeping animals captive that might otherwise be out in the wild, but there is an undoubted importance to the role that parks play in the education of youngsters and adults in the importance of conservation, and such places are the first contact many people have with wildlife. Often that first contact grows into an undying respect for wildlife, and is the birthplace of many conservation minds.

I have just judged the annual wildlife photographer competiton that occurs at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, and you can see the winning images I chose over at their site.

Well done to everyone at the park, keep up the great work

You can keep an eye on what mark is up to, we've linked to his blog over on the right.

Tara arrives in Africa!

Well after a long flight I finally arrived safely in Capetown on Friday! So far I have seen Southern Right Whales, African Penguins, Baboons, Lizards, Pelicans and Seals...a wildlife heaven! The picture here is taken along The Chapman's Drive which is beautiful like everything else I have seen so far! My first day at SANCCOB begins tommorrow which I am very excited about as I have missed the smell of fish and of course the penguins!

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Hi There,

I would just like to feedback on what an amazing day I had on Thursday 22nd October, 2009 while visiting your Park with my family (5 adults). It was the first and only attraction that we had visited during my week on the IOW where we spent a full day there without having to find something else to do in the afternoon.

I enjoyed the way that certain wildlife were allowed to roam freely around and mingle with the visitors (ducks, chickens, fowl). I also like how the wallaby's were allowed to hop onto the visitors path allowing you to pet them and get up close with them.

The different experiences such as the pelican, penguin, bird feeding etc.. were also a perfect addition to the experiences of the Park. I would especially like to commend Jake on his excellent and informative talks that he gave. He was very approachable when asking questions and able to answer them all with ease. He helped to make my day a very enjoyable one indeed, so please pass on my thanks.

If you would like any further feedback on my day then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Kind regards,

Andrew Anthony
Wolverhampton, West Midlands.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Our Photographer of the Year Competition Results (Adult).

Here are the long awaited results of the Photographer of the Year Competition. I was honoured when I was asked recently to be the Judge of this years contest. I have just got back from a long photographic expedition and conservation project in Ecuador, studying Manta Rays and exploring the Amazon. Just as I was looking forward to a dreary winter back in the UK, being asked to judge this competiton was a great reminder of the importance of the Seaview Wildlife Encounter's role in getting people to encounter wildlife from an early age, and hopefully then growing up with a passion for wildlife and conservation. I have always been impressed with the variety of animals and birds and how happy and healthy they always look at the park. This makes it such a great place for photography.

Next years photographic competition will hopefully be as well subscribed, and I have already spoken with Lorraine and Jules about some ideas for new categories and entry methods. If anyone is looking to improve their technique in preparation, I am going to host some photographic tuition days at the park during spring and summer of 2010. Look out on the website for more details. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in looking at what I have been up to in Eucador, my blog can be found at

Mark Harding.

Now, here are the results:

First Place. Peacock Feather by Sandra Funnell. Beautiful image, great composition, and a real eye for the things that often pass us by unnoticed.

Second Place. Crowned Crane by Gavin Muncaster. A really lovely composition, and fantastic Colours. Well spotted opportunity.

Third Place. Asian Short Clawed Otter by Keith Robinson. A difficult subject, always running about a lot and difficult to capture in a good pose. This is a stunning pose and the black and white really brings out the texture of that fur.

Highly Commended. Pink Backed Pelican by Michaela Wild. I really like this image, and wanted to grade it higher, the lighting is beautiful. However, I felt a little more space in front of the subject would have helped the composition.

Our Photographer of the Year Competition Result (junior).

Again, the junior results showed some beautiful images. There are some interesting portrayals of life within the park and the winning junior image shows the character of the subject in a well composed shot.

First Place. Bianca Morrison.

Second Place. Jordie Wright.

Third Place. Bianca Morrison.

Highly Commended. Lucy Norris.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009



Thank you for submitting an application for our Business Awards for Excellence 2009.

The panel met yesterday and I am pleased to tell you that you have been shortlisted for an award ~ The "GoWight Tourism and Leisure Award"... Congratulations.

The winners will be announced at our gala Awards Ceremony on the evening of Friday 27th November, 2009 at Cowes Yacht Haven. The evening will start with a four course gourmet meal with complimentary wine. After dinner the Awards Ceremony will take place and the winners will be presented with their awards. This prestigious corporate event will have a 'Fire and Ice' theme and there will be some top class entertainment to finish off the evening. Please note that this is a black tie event.

If you could let me know your requirements as soon as possible, I will reserve places for you as this event usually sells out, if you are unable to attend please let me know.

With kind regards,

Becky Harper,
Marketing & Membership Co-ordinator


"Congratulations to all staff having been coming to the Park for 40 years and better than ever" Gina & Derek Hones

"Having a fab and unique experience, the Park offers more than most others in its 'hands on' with children and feeding. Fab will recommend to all ~ thank you". Bailey ~ Gosport.

"Very enjoyable today, feeding commentary and knowledge excellent" Janet Dobson ~ Somerset.

Sunday, 18 October 2009



Thank you for the kind and thoughtful way in which you made our son Matthew's visit special.

He really enjoyed interacting with the animals and looks forward to his next visit.

It is a really nice thing to know that people will put themselves out to make something special happen for children and the disabled.

Kind regards,

Kym and Cheryl Wadey.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Tara's South African adventure begins!

The Time has come to bid farewell (for now) to all the animals and keepers at the park as I prepare to leave for my South African adventure!

I'm feeling very excited if not a little nervous as I'm sure the wild African Penguins I will be looking after won't be as friendly as 'Dippy', one of our favourite Humboldt Penguins at the park!

Well I have my passport and tickets ready to go, all I have to do is pack my bags, not forgetting the sun cream, and prepare myself for the 12 hour flight to Cape Town where I will be met by a member from the volunteer team!

I will try to keep everyone updated about my penguin and other wildlife encounters (including all the bites and bruises anticipated) during my stay in Cape Town via the blog, so please keep in touch!

I would just like to thank all the Keepers at the park and members of public who have shown a great deal of support and genorosity towards myself and SANCCOB, so THANKYOU to all and will see you in six weeks!!!

Quotes of the Week from our Visitors Book

"Amazing Park, best attraction on the Island. Loved being able to interact with the animals." Joe, Seaview.

"Really glad we came on a grey October day. Brilliant animals, great fun feeding them and hearing Boris the Cockatoo speak! Excellent experience". Helen, London.

"About the 7th time we have been and it's still great! Penguins always good value". Allison & Val, Surrey.

"Had a very good time. Great fun in the Wallaby enclosure! Had great fun feeding the ducks & geese! Great day!!! Darren, Laura, John from Southampton

"Lola enjoyed talking to the ducks which Mummy fed by hand! Lovely timex"
Benn, Victoria and Lola, Norfolk.

"ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS" Dawn, Chichester, West Sussex.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


At Seaview Wildlife Encounter we currently have four adult African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) in our collection – and we’re delighted to have expanded our flock with the recent hatching and successful fledging of two healthy chicks!

Sacred Ibis are a species of wading bird that breeds in sub-Saharan Africa and south eastern Iraq. They previously bred in Egypt where they were a symbol of one of the gods. This species of Ibis has been successfully introduced into the temperate climates of southern Europe as well as southern Florida in the United States.
Sacred Ibis prefer nesting in baobab tree colonies but here at the Park they’ve built their nest on a mound of dried mud, crowned with sticks. The female usually lays and incubates 2-3 eggs. In the wild they’re often found with other large wading birds such as Herons and Egrets; here at the Park they co-habit with our Lesser Flamingos who naturally occur in similarly marshy wetlands and mud flats.

Sacred Ibis are large predators measuring approximately 65 – 70cm in length; they have large, thick curved bills. Usually silent, the Sacred Ibis occasionally make croaking noises (especially the youngsters when they’re hungry!). In the wild their diet comprises of fish, amphibians, reptiles, smaller birds and insects. At the Park they enjoy fish, chicken and a balanced pellet produced specifically for waders.

The African Sacred Ibis is one of the avian species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
The two newly-fledged Sacred Ibis chicks are now regularly out and about at the Park. Interested visitors are encouraged view the youngsters before we close to the public for the winter season on 1st November.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Quotes of the week from our Visitors Book

"Best Park of its type we have been to in the UK & very well kept and imaginatively laid out" Borrett Family, London

"What a great day out, found the Park in Whats On Mag, excellent attraction. A wonderful day was had by the whole family!" Steve, Jill & Family ~ East Sussex.

"Grrrt Great! Amazing work guys ~ trying to beat last years record of 50 bags of duck food!" Lou & Rob, Bristol.

"Last visited 6 years ago...WOW changes are amazing. Fabulous day, will certainly be back!" Pearl & Dell ~ Surrey.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Focus on Lesser Flamingos

Seaview Wildlife Encounter is proud to be one of the most successful breeders of Caribbean and Chilean Flamingos in the United Kingdom. The focus is now shifting to the equally rare and endangered Lesser Flamingos, the only species yet to raise chicks at the Park. These birds are extremely difficult to raise in captivity and very few have ever been bred in the UK.
This week's project for the Animal Care Team has been to overhaul and enhance the Lessers' indoor nesting area at the Park in the hope that the Lessers may be enticed to consider breeding! Other species that previously shared the enclosure (Red-Breasted Geese and White Faced Whistling Ducks) have been re-sited so that interference (real or perceived) is minimised.
The old mud and clay floor in the indoor area has been power-hosed and removed. New soil was brought in to form the base of a re-vamped nesting area for the birds (who build their 'nests' out of mounds of damp mud). The area is being consistently warmed by a heat lamp and disturbance minimised by keeping the area as quiet as possible - away from public view and with limited keeper access.
The Lesser Flamingos will be closely monitored by the Team in the weeks ahead and any future happenings will be eagerly shared in our Blog!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


"What a lovely day out. Very good for photography wish other Parks were half as good. Very clean will recommend. Thanks. Keep up the good work." The Fletchers.

"Excellent. We come every year and you never fail to impress. Long may you continue." Mrs. & Mrs. Young

"Lovely place. Very clean and well looked after. Relaxing and great to walk amongst the birds." Peter & Dawn ~ Brighton.

"Love this place, no wonder we've been coming here since 1998!" Bekky, Nicky, Hazel ~ Surrey


I am writing this letter to thank you for my lovely birthday treat. My brother Billy and I had a great time at the Park it was very interesting.

Thank you so much for letting us feed Willaby. I really liked the lizards and it was great to see them out of their tanks.

I will never forget the lovely day I spent in the Park.

By Jacques age 11 and Billy age 7


Dear Staff,

I just wanted to thank you very much for the lovely time we had in your Park. From the moment we arrived from the lady at the pay desk to the ladies in the cafe to the lovely staff that helped us feed Willaby to the other staff helping around the Park, you are all friendly, polite, happy and nothing is too much trouble.

The Park and the animals are clean, well cared for and the place is beautiful. My children Jacques and Billy had a fantastic time feeding Willaby. They also enjoyed the other great activities that go on all through the day.

So I would like to say many thanks to everyone.

From The Wild Family.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


What's that laughter you can hear .......? Kookaburra, Kookaburra in the old gum tree ........ our resident Kookaburras have successfully hatched and raised 3 healthy chicks this year! Demand is such that we've had no problem finding excellent new homes for each of the youngsters! One has gone to Banham Zoo, one to Birdworld and one to Drusillas - all reputable collections on the UK mainland. We look forward to monitoring the young birds' progress in the months ahead!


This week Disney is launching its first Disney Nature movie venture in the UK - its first nature epic in 40 years! It's as though the threatened species of Chilean Flamingos at Seaview Wildlife Encounter heard the 'jungle drums' and wanted to contribute to the magic - we now have ten of the rare chicks - the first to hatch at the Park for three years! At the moment the chicks are leggy youngsters of varying sizes, covered in grey fluffy down - they'll only start to grow their pink plumage nearing two years of age. The Park closes for winter on 1st November, so why not make the most of the Autumn sunshine and make the most of this opportunity to see nature in all its glory?

Sunday, 27 September 2009


"Last came when I was 7 ~ 17 now and still loved it! " Piers, Natalie & Alex ~ Canterbury

"Can I please buy a duckling and a Wallaby ~ price is no issue! " Gemma & Vicky, IOW

"Best Day Ever" Lydia & Katherine ~ London

"Fed the penguins it was fab ~ I had a great day and will tell all my friends" Casey

"Wonderful place, so much to see and do. Staff very helpful. Can't wait to bring our family to visit one day. Penguins rule!" Sarah & Daniel, Devon

"Wonderful to visit somewhere where the staff and animals are happy!" Rosie & Joyce ~ Bedworth

"Better than anywhere else on the Island ~ Lovely day out. " Christine ~ Grimsby

"Lovely enjoyable visit. Everything kept in beautiful order. Such a clean Park and animals a joy to visit" Pat & Neil ~ Ramsgate

Friday, 25 September 2009

Thank you from Shanklin Primary!

Dear Flamingo Park
Thankyou so much for coming to our school. We have really enjoyed you being here. We collected some money to help you feed your animals. We hope to see you again soon.

Lots of love Maple class at Shanklin C of E Primary School x x x

Tara and Fern go back to school!

Keepers Tara and Fern went back to school for a day to give school children at Shanklin Primary a chance to meet some of our creepy, crawley and cuddley animals we look after at the park!
Lots of fun was had by all and we even managed to get the children 'hissing' like cockroaches!
We would both like to thank all the children and teachers for inviting us to their school and for their very generous donation. We hope to visit again soon.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Guess what these will be when they grow up....?

Other new arrivals this week included three Lovebird chicks. This photo shows the 'ugly ducklings' at two days old - in no way resembling the beautiful parent birds!

Autumn Hatchings!

Some of our resident and semi-resident birds (we have many avian species that come and go as they please!) are still hatching out young chicks. Other than broody hens on their clutches we've had 3 broods of Muscovy ducklings hatching out this week - this photo shows one of the proud Muscovy Mums! Fortunately there's plenty of shelter and food available here at the Park for the new arrivals to have a good chance of survival as we move towards the colder winter months.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


I am delighted to inform you that the judges have selected your entry as a finalist in the Tourism Excellence Awards 2009 in the 'Best Tourism Experience' category. Congratulations!

The exclusive Gala dinner and Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 22nd October at the Wentworth club, Surrey.

In addition, we have selected your entry as a number of finalists that we would like to invite to take part in a short awards video. This footage will be used on the awards night, form part of the PR activity and also be available for your own use.

Once again, many congratulations and I look forward to welcoming you to the Gala Awards Dinner at the Wentworth Club on Thursday 22nd October, 2009.

Kind regards,

Andrew Gostelow,
Head of Communications, Membership & Visitor Services
Tourism South East.


At 1pm we went to the reptile house. I held the bearded dragon and a rush of braveness came over me and I held a cockroach which my little boy stroked ~ my second fear beaten!

I met Craig another Senior Head Keeper and we went to feed the wallabies. Craig gave the talk and I handed out wallaby pellets to the public so they could feed them. Next up, the Meerkats where I met up with Natasha a keeper and went into the Meerkat enclosure. I scattered food around while Natasha did the talk. It was amazing!

Then it was pets corner time and I held a Guinea Pig for the public to stroke. I watched Fern feed the Otters before heading back to the penguin pool where Jake and Tara were working really hard cleaning out the penguin enclosure before feeding them at 3.30pm and the visitors also got the opportunity to feed the penguins.

After that it was time to say Thank You and Goodbye. It was such a fantastic day and a great opportunity. A life changing moment for me. I have decided I'm going to study animal care next year and also do a few hours a week volunteering at the Park.

The staff work really hard and are amazing at what they do. It isn't about the time with the animals its about spending lots of time cleaning the enclosures to make it a nice environment for the animals and for the people who visit.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Tara for taking the time to work with me on her day off. Also a big thank you to Craig, Jake, Natasha and Fern for making me feel welcome. I can see the Park being a huge success for many years to come!



On Sunday 6th September, 2009 I had the pleasure of being a keeper for the day at the Park. I won this day at the Park's August Bank Holiday fund raiser weekend where 'A day as a Keeper' was auctioned and I was the lucky bidder!!

I arrived at the Park at 9am and was met by Tara one of the Senior Head Keepers. Buzzing with excitement I followed her down to the prep room where Tara explained where everything is, introduced me to the keepers and explained what the keeper staff do when they start work at 8am.

My first job of the day was to feed Willaby the albino wallaby his milk by syringe. He was extremely hungry!! (see picture above).

We then went up to the top prep room where we prepared the sprats for the penguins which included putting salt and vitamin tablets in the fish. We had to give every penguin a sprat containing the tablets which turned out to be quite difficult with 38 very hungry penguins! Also, trying to identify them and mark them off on the sheets at the same time to tick off who had had their sprat. Mission achieved 31 out of 38 what a success!

At 11am Tara and I went to Pelican Bay for the morning feed and talk. Tara gave an informative talk and I got to feed the pelicans their sprats ~ that was one of my fears overcome!

I then met Jake who gave the penguin talk and feed at 11.30am and then Tara and I went and fed the baby penguins. Next we went to the flight aviary and fed the parrots some grapes and Jake did the Parrot talk.

Lunch time! I met up with Deane my partner and my little boy Declan. Pizza and chips followed by double chocolate cake and a sloppy kiss from Dec!

Thursday, 10 September 2009


I was wondering if you take on voluntary work and if so I would love to help out on Saturdays and holidays off school. When I'm older I want to work with animals and I want to get a clue to how hard, fun and interesting it is to help out with looking after all the different varities of animals.

I have been to the Park many times and have fallen in love with all the animals you have. The reason I'm asking to become a voluntary worker at your Park is because all the animals seem extremely happy and well looked after and I would like to help be apart of one of the best animal Parks I've ever been too.

Yours sincerely,


Wednesday, 9 September 2009



Just a short note to express appreciation to all the staff at the Park who made our visit last week such a pleasure. We were there for the entire day and everyone from keepers to cafe staff were entertaining, courteous and knowledgeable my thanks to them all. Special thanks to the lady keeper who came to rescue a young quail that was trapped in the otter enclosure.

The wildlife of all kinds was fascinating and the hands on experiences with snakes, cockroaches, lizards and wallabies will be remembered for a long time. Hoping to return soon. Keep up the good work!!


Wednesday, 2 September 2009



What a fantastic weekend! The Team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter would like to thank all those who participated in the various activities and competitions at the Park over the August bank holiday weekend!

A total of £1,300.00 was raised over the three days in support of the charity SANCCOB (South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds). This will be taken over to Cape Town, South Africa, by Head Keeper, Tara Hayter, at the end of October this year. Tara has volunteered to assist in rescuing and rehabilitating rare and endangered marine birds including African penguins and Gannets affected by oil spills off the Southern African coast.

Great fun was enjoyed by all – from ‘hook-a-duck’, to creative face-painting, to a huge selection of prizes that were won at the tombola stall! Penguin footprint paintings were great fun too - winners met the penguins and were able to take their unique footprint portraits home! Many visitors were truly sporting in joining in the two unique auctions held on Sunday and Monday afternoons – visitors bid for the opportunity to be an animal keeper for a day! The excited winners will each be spending a day shadowing a senior keeper and assisting in feeding and looking after the various animals and birds at the Park! Congratulations to all winners and a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who joined in, made donations and helped to make the weekend such a great success!

Saturday, 29 August 2009


I am writing to thank you for your generosity. As a member of the 3rd Ryde Girls Brigade I would like to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed our recent day out donated to us at your Park Seaview Wildlife Encounter.

I thought this sort of gesture needed to be thanked personally seeing as such a wonderful day was had by all of us. I personally enjoyed feeding the penguins and wallabies and seeing your new Otters.

Thank you,

Katie. (A 3rd Ryde Girls' Brigade)

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Celebrating the arrival of our Chilean Flamingo chicks!

We're thrilled to announce that our Chilean Flamingos (Phoenicopterus Chilensis) have hatched three chicks so far this season. Having had a two year lull in our breeding programme these chicks are particularly special!