Monday, 31 May 2010
Information reference: facts quoted courtesy of BBC News on-line.
By now I think we're all aware of the ever-increasing tragedy resulting from one of the world's worst environmental disasters ever.
It's a Bank Holiday in the UK and most of us are fortunate to be enjoying some time relaxing with our families, celebrating the spring weather and getting out and about. Spare a thought as you do so for the myriad of ocean-living creatures that are continuing to perish as a result of the relentless gushing of leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Media reports state that thousands of gallons of oil are continuing to pump, uncontrolled, into the oceans off America's Gulf Coast every day. According to today's BBC News website at least 20 million gallons have now spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, affecting more than 70 miles (110km) of Louisiana's coastline. At least 12,000 barrels (504,000 gallons) are continuing to leak every day. Despite various attempts to stem the massive leak there has to-date been no success.
Most of us feel so helpless when an environmental disaster such as this occurs - what can we do (if anything) to help the situation? For me there's a feeling of grief at the loss and suffering of all the sea life - mixed with a real frustration at my impotence in being unable to help or really make a difference (and a sense of underlying guilt for being a Homo sapien responsible for the overt consumerism that somehow is at the root of this tragedy).
We are forced to trust that the 'experts' are really doing all that is humanly possible (regardless of associated price-tags) to solve this problem, urgently. Yesterday, University of Alabama engineering professor Philip W Johnson apparently said he was hopeful the new plan to build another dome to cap the leak would succeed; however the oil flow could increase by as much as 20% until the new containment device has been successfully applied over the leak.
Perhaps, if we focus our positive thoughts and prayers towards the Gulf coast today, our combined spiritual energy may somehow help to stem the flow.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
One of our younger visitors, Cameron Evans (above), spotted making friends with a few of the baby Penguins as they're ferried through the Park in their customised wheelbarrow taxi!
Animal Keeper Fern Daley is captured in the image on the left transporting this year's Humboldt Penguin chicks from their daytime 'creche' near the main penguin pool back to their night-time quarters in the incubation house.
This is a twice-a-day happening at the Park at this time of year - and extremely popular amongst our visitors! The chicks are now between 8 and 10 weeks of age. They're growing fast but won't be ready to join the adult colony on a full-time basis for the next few weeks - when their waterproof adult plumage has grown through.
Barry Chiverton recently joined the Team at Seaview Wildlife as our coffee specialist! Bringing with him many years of experience in the preparation of specialist Italian coffees, Barry is extremely enthusiastic about the launch of "Coffee Corner" - opened this week at the Park. Adjacent to the existing cafe "Coffee Corner" offers visitors a selection of delicious coffees, all authentically made - courtesy of Barry and a swish new Coffee Machine!
To accompany your chosen coffee (i.e. Americano, Latte, Cappuccino, Mocha, etc). There's a choice of sweet treats including Danish pastries, muffins, special cookies and flapjacks. On hotter days the Iced Coffee alternatives are already proving a very popular choice amongst our discerning Park visitors!
Image shows Barry Chiverton at the Park's new "Coffee Corner" coffee machine
"After many visits this is the best we have seen the Park. The attention to detail is first class. Keep up the good work". Jenny & Dave Robinson, Winford, IOW
"A fascinating & enchanting Park - in our estimation Seaview Wildlife is an out right winner!" Pat & Peter Felix, Redhill, Surrey
" Amazing Park loved every minute. Came 12 years ago and still great. Loved the birds and feeding the ducks and all the other animals. Will definately be back again" Anna & Andy Parsonage, Surrey.
" What a great Park! Lots to see and really well laid out and presented. Lovely staff too. Suitable for all ages too. Great stuff" . Andrew, Rachel & Faith Batten Roche, St. Austell, Cornwall
Monday, 24 May 2010
It was so good to meet you and chat with you. Dave and I covered every inch of the Park today from 10.30 to 3.15 and I can honestly say it was the best day out we have had in a long time. We first visited the Flamingo Park as it was then, in the mid, 1980's, with our two children and remember it being one of their favourite attractions along with the Sandown zoo. It must be something to do with being able to get up close and personal with the animals. I certainly experienced that today as we went round. Even the 'caged' birds and animals didn't give the impression of being restricted. I particularly enjoyed the Oriental exhibit. Another one I found amusing was where the mother ducks were located with all their chicks. Without fail, every time a few people moved towards the wire, they all came running up as one. Appropriate really, seeing as they were the Runner Ducks!
I remember reading in the County Press some years ago about how they were experiencing problems getting the Caribbean Flamingos to breed, and putting out a request for people to supply them with mirrors to use as a backdrop to create the impression of a larger flock. It seems to have worked wonders although I noticed the mirrors are still in place.
The staff were extremely helpful especially when we were in the tropical house looking in the millipede tank. The lid was not in place and I was just thinking to myself that it had done a runner, when a member of staff came up to me and said 'I have got it here'. I was able to touch it and experience the feel of its body and see the tiny legs compared to the size of its body before she placed it back in the tank.
At the risk of waffling on too long, suffice it to say I was greatly impressed by the pristine appearance of the whole of the Park and to think it is still a work in progress in some parts. May you continue to flourish and attract visitors from both the mainland and the Island. I wouldn't have any hesitation in recommending it as a top-class place to visit with or without children.
I plan to return next week to make a video diary and to find out what is happening with the washroom/office!!
All the best
I've included a photo I took earlier today of a Green-Crested Touraco ('Damian') in our Tropical House.
The reason for the visit today was for our visitors to have an overview of the Park - having a look at our animal and bird collections, our husbandry standards and some of our operational and management protocols. After spending four hours with us at the Park, Miranda and David gave us extremely positive feedback including some very constructive suggestions. The good news is that we're very much on the right track for being awarded full membership in due course. We're looking forward to working closely with both David and Miranda in the months ahead and in continuing to strive for excellence here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
"Excellent!! Gardens beautiful - animals have everything they need. Very impressed." Terry & Roy Blackmore, Lymington
" Very well run and very enjoyable. You have put alot of work into this Park. All the very best for the future you ALL deserve it". Ray Creach, St. Austell, Cornwall
" We had a lovely day here - clean, tidy and staff very helpful. Best time to visit with all the baby ducks etc...". Nicky, Southampton
" Wonderful, clean, animals well kept and looked after. Still as brilliant as it ever was! Definately coming back again. Thanks". Sarah Toplass, Isle Of Wight
" What a fantastic experience - everything from stroking a duck, a chicken and a wallaby (while she had a joey in her pouch!! Amazing day" Valerie & Robert Hodgson, Middlesex.
" We all loved it here! All the creatures seem happy and well cared for. Lovely clean place. Thank you! Great day we loved the penguins (and the baby ones especially)". Clarke Family
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
There are 9 wildlife events daily. come and enter our Wildlife quiz Trail. You can help throw fish to the Humboldt Penguins (and watch the Penguin chicks being fed); stroke the gentle Wallabies and their baby Joeys; pop a peanut to the parrots; and hand-feed the ducks and geese that roam freely around you. Pets Corner includes soft rabbits, guinea pigs and ducklings, and you'll hear the Otters calling out for their feed as it approaches 3.00pm!
Did you know that Basil our Pygmy Goat now has a little friend called Olly? - He's great fun and would love to meet you. For those of you who like making friends with bugs and reptiles there's an area of our Tropical House just for you!
soft-whipped delicious ice-creams (and new speciality Italian coffees are now available for grown-ups too!)
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
These images, taken earlier this morning, show how quickly our Wallaby Joeys are growing. Aged approximately five months this youngster is spending more and more time out of Mum's pouch. Although Joeys start to graze alongside their mothers from an early age they return to the pouch (to suckle, sleep or hide!) for up to a year.
Monday, 10 May 2010
I'm writing to you basically to say how much me, me wife, the me children (9) and (5) ended our weeks holiday all for the good especially enjoyed feeding the animals including the penguins, wallabies and the parrots.
We go there quite often every time we come to the Isle of Wight and make it top of the list. Me boyz especially thought Jake was very nice and very helpful which also makes the visit more enjoyable special thanks to him.
Hope to see you all again, keep up the good work, take care, yours sincerely P.M. Day
Friday, 7 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
" A smashing way to spend an afternoon. Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects". Dave and Marion, Chichester
"So much better than any other animal themed attraction in the UK". Jeremy Miller
" The best day of my life, EVER!!!". Georgina Ward, Shanklin
" Thought it was a great day out and we liked how much the public were involved in feeding the animals. Lovely setting". Amy Howe and family, Bristol
Monday, 3 May 2010
jaws can vibrate a thousand times a second when they're slicing through leaves and they can carry 20 times their own body weight - that's the same as a human carrying a one ton load! We're looking forward to their arrival!