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.