Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Presentation to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Trust

We've been invited to give a presentation to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. As new corporate members we're delighted to be attending our first Wildlife Investors Event being held tomorrow (Thursday 29th April) at Swanwick lakes Wildlife Reserve in Hampshire.
We're looking forward to getting together with our new friends at the Trust as well as meeting other corporate members. Hopefully this new association will enable the Park to become more involved in a broader scope of local wildlife conservation issues and perhaps to identify where we might assist with specific projects in our region.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Treatment and bandaging of two special residents

This image shows the underside of a Chilean Flamingo's feet - cracked and infected - this happens on rare occasions and requires medical intervention from the Animal Care Team at the Park. This Flamingo has been separated from the flock and will be given a 5-day course of intra-muscular Synulox injections to treat the infection from within. This is supplemented by a daily topical treatment of the feet themselves with Sudacrem cream - assisting in the healing process.

As we've mentioned in previous Blogs, we unfortunately have to remove some of the Humboldt Penguin chicks from their nests due to over-zealous parenting that results in damaged or even completely squashed youngsters. This image, taken today, shows one of our Penguin chicks that was found splayed out with completely displaced legs last week. He had his legs taped straight by the vet and we're refreshing the bandages every few days. The objective is to re-align the legs so that he'll be able to walk properly as he matures.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Just Hatched!

This image shows a proud mother Call Duck with her newly hatched brood of golden ducklings- just 24 hours old - on a beautiful sunny April afternoon here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. Call Ducks are known to be energetic and active; they are small (weighing approximately 0.68 kg /1.5 lb) and have plump bowl-shaped bodies; a wide, rounded head; a small, broad bill and short legs. They are vocal birds with a high pitched call. The Call Duck comes in a variety of colour combinations and produces an average of 25–75 eggs a year.

Just hatched - a tiny Mallard duckling in one of our incubators. I snapped this image before the new arrival was moved to a brooder - where he'll be kept warm and monitored closely for a couple of days before joining a larger group of orphaned ducklings. When eggs or youngs ducklings are discovered out in the Park the animal care team rescue them from predation by by rooks or seagulls. Where possible the mother duck is caught at the same time - so that she can be with her new brood - but often this isn't possible; so the keepers step in and adopt the youngsters until they're old enough to be released back into the freedom of the Park.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Quotes of the week from our Visitors Book

" A brilliant day out, different each time we come. Everything is sensibly priced and nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Our daughther's allergy was dealt with brilliantly by the restaurant staff, who produced a lunchbox especially for her, despite being very busy. Thank you". The Goddard Family, Newport, IOW
" We have had an absolutely fantastic day. The Park is beautiful and very well laid out. The birds etc.. all look very happy. Particularly loved the Tropical House. Staff very friendly and helpful. See you next year fingers crossed". Nikki, David, Darren & Eren. Glos.
"I wish I could say this place is awful - so to keep it a secret to myself, but I can't. It's brilliant. We had a wonderful day. Thank you. Benit & Verity, Watford and Gloucestershire.
" What a fab park! Had a great day out here and the kids loved it. Highly recommended. Will tell everyone we know about it. Cheers keep up the good work" South Wales

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The image above shows 4 Humboldt Penguin chicks currently being hand-reared by the Keepers at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. Two of the chicks are approximately 3 weeks old, and the smaller two are only a few days old. They're fed 10% of their body weight in liquidised sprats with added vitamins, calcium and saline through a syringe 4 times a day. As can be seen, they're growing rapidly and thriving! Two of the bigger chicks have started taking solid food - small, filleted pieces of sprats.

Just look how I'm growing ..... the image above shows one of the older Penguin chicks looking bonny - with a rotund tummy, after his late afternoon feed!

Does a Pelican's bill hold more than its belly can?

Photo taken 20th April of Doris, our female Pink-Backed Pelican showing the remarkable bright pink inner lining of Gular - a particularly vibrant colour during the Spring breeding season.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His mouth can hold more than his belly can,
He can hold in his beak,
Enough food for a week.
I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!

Many people think Ogden Nash composed that famous limerick, but apparently he didn't. It was written in 1910 by Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879-1972), a Southern US newspaper editor and president of the American Press Humorists Association.
Then there's the following parody, by that world-famous, prolific writer, Anon:

A wonderful bird is a Pelican,
Whose beak can hold more than his belly can.
Be it crabs, clams, or fish,
It will hold all you wish.
But I'm damned if I see how the hell he can.

On a slightly more scientific note (!): The Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) uses its distendable throat pouch (called a gular) as a fishing net, scooping fish and crustaceans from the water as it swims. When it opens its bill underwater, the sudden inflow of water carries the prey in with it. Then the pelican raises its head to drain out the water before swallowing its prey. When they have chicks the youngsters feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested regurgitated fish.

Monday, 19 April 2010


We had literally thousands of entries into this year's Easter Weekend Wildlife Quiz Trail. Thank you to all the participants - we hope you found it both fun and informative!

The lucky winner for the Easter Weekend Prize of a giant basket of scrumptious goodies was Alana Stoddart (pictured below) who was invited to Seaview Wildlife to collect her prize on Saturday 17 April. Congratulations Alana!

Our Wildlife Quiz Trail will continue throughout the summer and a second winner will be announced later in the season - so come on down to Seaview Wildlife Encounter and have a go!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

First birthday party of the season a huge success!

" I would like to thank the Park and all staff for making Graces birthday so memorable. All the children involved (and the adults) had a fantastic time and Grace would like to do it all again next year!

It was lovely to have the birthday announcements all around the Park and the adoption present was a great extra. It was a great spread for the children and the cake was delicious!

Once again thank you for a lovely day and I will definately be recommending the party to other parents and carers!"

Rebecca Doig.

Friday, 16 April 2010

What wonderful feed back -Letter of the Week

Richard & Tracy,
" What a great Park. It's a great day out for the whole family. It was worth every penny even the tea and coffee was great.
This is our last day on holiday today and what an end to finish on.
Please keep up the good work. It was hard to say to the big white/pink parrot I so much want to take him/her home as we have an African Grey. Anyway, thank you so much as you were the best place we have been to this week. We will be back. All the best"

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A couple of Pets Corner personalities!

Alison Kinnett with Joseph the 'personality of the week' (!) tortoise and two young Guinea Pigs getting stuck into some greens - images taken this afternoon in our 'Pets Corner'. Alison is a Work Experience student who normally assists as an Animal Keeper one day a week. We've been fortunate to have Alison's assistance on the Animal Care Team throughout the Easter holidays from College where she's studying towards a Diploma in Animal Management.

Shrubs, trees and flowers burst into bloom at the Park

Not only are the Penguins and Ducklings hatching but there's beautiful flora bursting into new life around the Park at this time of year.
These images show the magnificent Magnolia blossoms and the Skimmia in its spring finery.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Letter of the Week - from Marion Wade

Image: Pink-Backed Pelican - M.E. Wade - 2009

Marion and Tony Wade have been returning visitors to Seaview Wildlife Encounter over a number of years. Marion regularly enters our 'wildlife photographer of the year' competition and has proven herself to be a talent to be reckoned with! We recently entered some of Marion's photographs taken during her trip to the Park last year onto our website - (Photo Gallery) - our doing this may have sparked Marion into writing the really warm letter that we've selected as our 'letter of the week' - below. Thank you Marion - we hope to see you and Tony back again really soon and hope you may consider submitting some new photographs in this year's competition.

"Dear Jules,

It was lovely to meet you at the “Wightlife Photography Exhibition” last December. We had a wonderful time, and of course I loved seeing my pictures displayed.

I have just spent a brilliant evening imagining myself back on the Isle of Wight, while looking at your updated web site, which I loved. Then to my surprise I find my pictures in your gallery! So I decided to contact you and say how thrilled I was to see you using them. I also enjoyed reading through all the “Blog” pages, and in doing so I came across your picture of the Pelican, taken as you described, “in the soft morning light, in that unusual pose”, which was really lovely.

We are hoping to visit the island later this year but it will depend on Tony's health. The operation he had in February was successful, so if he continues to make good progress we just may be able to come. If we do, we will definitely be visiting you, as it gives us the opportunity to indulge in our two passions, wildlife and photography. Plus I have never seen Harvest Mice, so I was excited to read you will be having them at your park, and I would love to get a good photo of them. In the meantime, all the best for your new season.

Kindest Wishes,

Marian Wade.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Quotes of the Week

" Amazing, brilliant and beautiful. A really nice day out" Kim Jones, Portsmouth

" A wonderful day out. You have the best enclosures for lucky, happy animals. Thank you so much" Owen Family - Telford, Shrops
" Best venue on the Island with the happiest animals! Brilliant" Deb & Lloyd Cunningham, Isle Of Wight
" Really fun and you can get really involved and the keepers are really nice" Kelsey Cox, Pulborough

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Barrows Goldeneye urgently seeking wife!

Is there anyone out there who knows of a potential partner for our exceptionally handsome Barrows Goldeneye? He's all on his own right now and would love to meet a friendly (even flirtatious) fabulous, feathered friend for a seriously unfrivilous encounter ...... please be in touch via

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Be-a-Keeper-for-a-Day (first participant for 2010!)

Louise Broadhurst is the first person to participate in the newly launched "Be-a-Keeper-for-a-Day programme at Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isle of Wight. Louise, aged 14 and from Essex, is on holiday this week; this was her first visit to the Park. This special day as a Keeper was a gift from her Grandparents who are resident on the Island.
Louise enjoyed a busy, varied day shadowing our Education Officer, Tara Hayter; she also spent some time with Headkeeper Craig Holmes.

Some of Louise's activities included cleaning and feeding the newly hatched ducklings in the Incubation House, preparing feed for the newly hatched Humboldt Penguin chicks and then helping to syringe-feed them; assisting with feeding of the adult Penguins, spending time with and helping to feed the Wallabies, the Meerkats and various furry animals in Pets Corner!

At the end of the day Louise said "it's been an amazing day and an unbelievable experience" .
Louise mentioned that she'd like to contact us in the future when she's ready to do a 'work experience' assignment. We look forward to welcoming Louise back to the Park in due course.

Quotes of the Week from our Visitors Book


"A lovely day here with the grandsons. So nice to have a clean place to visit. Can highly recommend. Thank you" J. O'Brien

"Loved how tame everything is as you can get close to the animals especially the Wallabies. Hopefully coming again soon!" Chaffer Family, Burnley.

"Just to let you know that we had a fantastic time at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, today. We took our son, wife and 3 sons, and our daughter and husband. We all agreed that there was something there for all of our interests! We thought it was brilliant - well worth the entrance fee!

The children loved the 'hands-on' approach. They all enjoyed feeding the penguins, holding the hissing cockroaches, and stroking the bearded dragon. The adults (female!) LOVED the wallabies with their joeys! The chaps enjoyed the meerkats.

Thankfully, the weather held for our visit! Brilliant!"

Best Wishes, Howard, Irene and family

"Great friendly place to come. Best wildlife centre we have been to!!" Hopkinson Family, Bucks.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Educational and fun - school visits are an ongoing success!

Education Officer, Tara Hayter and Animal Keeper, Fern Daley are continuing their visits to pre-primary and primary schools on the Isle of Wight. These visits were started during the winter months as a fun, hands-on way to get kids involved and interested in wildlife issues and in caring for animals. The feedback from these visits has been so positive and it seems news has travelled like wildfire - resulting in bookings continuing into the Spring months. For more information or to make a booking please contact Tara by email:

Hand-rearing of Penguin chicks is going well!

You may remember our Blog of two days ago of a tiny Humboldt Penguin chick emerging from its egg - the Animal Care Team had to rescue it from being crushed by its over-zealous parents - the good news is that it's feeding well and looking fine! To simulate the re-gurgitated fish from the mother's beak the Keepers are syringe-feeding the youngster liquidised sprats with added saline, multi-vitamins and calcium 4X per day, 10% of its body weight at each feed. Today's image shows the chick just after a feed, dozing in the warm palm of Lorraine's hand!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Alison behaving badly!

Poor Alison, our trustee Animal Keeper/Work experience she wasn't behaving badly, but what with catching up ducklings, feeding penguin chicks and clearing drains, Education Officer/Animal Keeper Tara got so caught up in it all that she locked Alison in...whoops!

Park director Lorraine received a panicked phone call for help as the public started throwing bird food for her through the fence!

Apologies Alison I didn't do it on purpose...I promise, at least she saw the funny side!!!

The Keeper's have their hands full with Humboldt Penguin Chicks at Seaview Wildlife, Isle Of Wight

As you can see we currently have our hands full with ducklings and penguin chicks this Easter!

The reason for this is some of the parents from our eight breeding pairs of Humboldt Penguins don't always make brilliant parents, and can be a bit heavy footed and clumsy at times.... therefore the Animal Keepers here at the Park do sometimes have to intervene and take over the role of rearing these fragile little chicks.
At the moment we are hand rearing 4/7 chicks! This means we have to feed the greedy penguin chicks liquidised sprats and vitamins 4 x a day every four hours, recording their progress and weight each time.

Today we had the added task of weighing those penguin chicks still on the nest with their parents....unfortunately it can be stressful but this is completely necessary to ensure that all the chicks are being fed properly and gaining sufficient weight.

The photos here show a penguin chick hatching as we speak!

On this occasion it was necessary to 'pull' the chick from its parents, who currently have one other chick, due to the fact it was struggling to hatch!

The penguin chick will be incubated until it hatches and regains strength, then all being well will be able to join the other youngsters for a well earned snuggle before the next feed in the Incubation House where visitors can view the chicks being fed at 12.15pm and 4 pm daily....'s a hard life!