Wednesday, 30 March 2011

POSTERS that really pack a punch!

SWE Seaview Wildlife

You’ll be sure to notice our two latest panel adverts! Here they are, hot off the press – ready for the opening of the 2011 summer season this Saturday 2nd April! Keep your eye open and please let us know what you think when you see them in life-size out there! Looking forward to welcoming you to the Park very soon……!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011



Seaview WL Promotions ad


Be a Keeper cover Penguin Party cover Adopt an animal cover SWE Wildest Date cover

For full details see our Website -

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Lindsay Poole started with us yesterday as a Volunteer Animal Keeper. Lindsay lives in Cosham, Portsmouth, and is keen enough to be commuting across the Solent aboard the Catamaran on a weekly basis in order to be part of the Team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter.

Lindsay is 27 years old; she graduated with an honours degree in Computer Animation in 2003 but has found it very difficult to break into this field. This difficulty prompted Lindsay to pursue studies in her other area of interest - Animal Management – she’s in her first year of a BTEC at Southdowns College and is simultaneously taking on two or three volunteering jobs working with animals.

On behalf of us all at Seaview Wildlife this is a warm welcome to the Team!

Lindsay's first day March 2011 (1007)

We seem to be on a roll with ‘pig tales’ this week - this image (right) shows Lindsay, on her first day of training yesterday, having some up-close-and-personal time with Willis!

At the end of Lindsay’s first day of training to become a Volunteer Keeper, I asked her a few questions:

How was your first day as a Volunteer-in-training Animal Keeper?

I found it very interesting. You don’t realise how much there is to do and how much goes on behind the scenes!”

Was your first day what you were expecting?

Yes and no! I thought I’d be doing a lot more cleaning but it’s been very varied with feeding, painting Penguin houses and getting to know the Park and the different species. There’s a lot to remember but I’m sure I’ll get used to that!”

What are you hoping to learn and do in the next few weeks at the Park?

“To be able to learn a lot more about the different species, what they eat, health checking and general information on each of them”.

What was your favourite experience of the day?

“Probably feeding the Penguins!”

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

It’s been really enjoyable. I’ve learnt such a lot in such a short amount of time!”


Regular followers of our Blog will know that Alfie and Willis, two six month old Miniature Pigs, were donated to the Park just a few weeks ago – in time to welcome visitors to the Park for the 2011 season. Last week the two brothers were photographed frolicking around in their new outside run. Yesterday I just had to capture yet another ‘pig tale’ to share with you – showing just how popular these two boys are with our Animal Care Team!

Fern up close with Archie (resized 0987)

When the piggies first arrived at the Park Fern Daly (Animal Keeper, pictured left) was quite wary of them – she said she wasn’t sure that she really liked pigs …. well just look at how things have changed!! Fern now admits that she ‘absolutely loves’ Alfie and Willis!

This image shows Fern and Alfie rolling around in the hay having a ‘tickle tummy’ game, both with big smiles on their faces!

We have no doubt that Alfie and Willis will steal your hearts away too – come and meet them from next Saturday (2nd April) onwards – they're in ‘Pets Corner’ and will no doubt be ‘hogging the limelight’!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Wallaby Joey out of pouch for first time!


Having a taste of banana (0974)


Our first Bennett’s Wallaby Joey of 2011 (affectionately known as ‘Peanut’ amongst the Animal Care Team!) ventured out from his mother’s pouch into the warm Spring sunshine at lunchtime today!  The image on the left shows Peanut sniffing on a piece of banana whilst still in the pouch.

From the age of about 4 months Joey’s are still suckling but start to nibble grass whilst hanging out of the pouch; they pop out every now and again to stretch their legs but aren’t yet brave enough to venture too far from Mum!



OK Mum here I go! (0904)


In the image on the right it’s almost as though Peanut is saying:  “Okay, don’t worry Mum, here I go” – moments later he leapt from the pouch!  As this was his first exploration onto ‘terra firma’ Peanut was a bit wobbly – but he’ll be leaping around with strength and confidence in no time!





Peanut 1st day out of pouch (0927) 



And here he is!  Peanut out of pouch!  Our first Wallaby Joey of 2011!

He’s a funny little thing at this age, but he’ll start to fill out and become more sturdy in the weeks ahead – with muscle-building hops in Wallaby Walkabout  and a good combination of his mother’s milk supplemented with grass, vegetables and fruit.





Peanut 1st venture out (0909)







Oopsie, upside down, let's try again! (0901)






Oops! Peanut didn’t judge the re-entry into Mum’s pouch quite right … resulting in his being upside down and the wrong the way round on the grass - half in and half out -  but not looking the least perturbed about it!

SIBERIAN THRUSHES – Moved to outdoor enclosure


Male Siberian Thrush

We have a pair of beautiful Siberian Thrushes (Zoothera sibirica) that have been housed in an aviary inside our Tropical House for the past year. 

Yesterday they were moved to a much larger outdoor aviary – with lush greenery and flowing water and sunshine!  I took the opportunity to capture these very shy birds on camera to share with our Blog readers.

In the wild, Siberian Thrushes breed in Siberia and are strongly migratory, usually moving to South-Eastern Asia for the winter.  They are very occasionally seen in Western Europe.



Female Siberian Thrush


These Thrushes are members of the Turdidae family and are similar in size to the Song Thrush.  They are very secretive birds that spend most of their time in forest undergrowth.  Omnivorous, they eat a wide range of insects, earthworms, fruits and berries. 

The male Siberian Thrush (pictured above right) is dark blue-grey above and below, with a white strip above his eye.  His lower belly and flanks are white.  The female (left) is a much browner bird, with a buff stripe above her eye.  A striking feature that identifies both sexes in flight is the black band on their white under-wings, a feature shared with the White Thrush.



Fern fitting new mesh wire onto Siberian's new outdoor aviary March 11



Animal Keeper, Fern Daly (right) made sure there were no gaps or potential escape routes in the outdoor aviary before the Siberian Thrushes were released!  





Fern releasing Siberian Thrushes into outdoor aviary March 2011



This was the moment just prior to release (left) – a lovely sunny Spring day for the Thrushes to experience their new outdoor living space!





Siberian Thrush (male) release outdoor aviary March 11


Just seconds after being released into their new outdoor enclosure –the male Siberian Thrush (right) and the female (below).


Female Siberian soon after release to outdoor aviary March 11

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


red nose day

“Comic Relief” fundraising had raised a record £74.3 million (according to the BBC website and other media reports) by the end of Friday 19th March (Red Nose Day 2011). As you know, this powerful campaign raises money for poor and vulnerable people across the UK and Africa.

red nose day logo

The Chief Executive of Comic Relief, Kevin Cahill, said that they were in awe of the generosity of the British public.

“At a time when global problems are dominating the headlines and people are struggling at home, the results are quite remarkable” he said.

It’s not too late to make a donation to this very worthwhile cause – just log on to: and do it now!

Image (right): Dippy the Penguin displays his support with a red-nose-pose!

Monday, 21 March 2011


The BRITISH & IRISH ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS & AQUARIUMS (BIAZA) have written to advise us that, as a result of the meeting of their Membership and Licensing Committee & Council on the 15 March 2011, Seaview Wildlife Encounter has been awarded Full Membership status within the Association.

BIAZA logo

BIAZA promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums. It leads and supports its members as follows:

* to inspire people to help conserve the natural world

* to participate in effective co-operative conservation programmes

* to deliver the highest quality environmental education, training and research

* to achieve the highest standards of animal care and welfare in zoos, aquariums and in the wild

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Willis and Alfie’s Piggy Paddock extended!

As you can probably recall The Whittington family very kindly donated two very cute Miniature Pigs not so long ago. When they first arrived the six month year old boys, Willis and Alfie, were housed temporarily in an empty paddock in Pets Corner until they settled in and an extension was added to their enclosure.

Well they need not wait any longer, the day has finally come and now they can enjoy some sunshine and do what pigs do best and snuffle around!

P1060577 P1060578

The boys wasted no time, and were soon running, leaping and squealing with excitement!


Of course Olly and Basil, our very inquisitive Pygmy Goats, had to come and check out their new neighbours, although it looks like Willis was more keen to say hello!

Finally after all the excitement and commotion, the boys finally decided it was time to have an afternoon snooze and enjoy a sunbathe before enjoying a spot of alfresco dining later….tales wagging and all!

P1060585 P1060587

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Hurtling hectically towards Park re-opening day ….


It’s all happening at Seaview Wildlife Encounter!  With only two weeks and two days left before we re-open the Park to visitors after the annual winter shut-down there’s still LOTS that needs to be done.  Although we endeavour to pace ourselves with all the projects scheduled for the winter months there’s an inevitability about a last minute flurry of activities! 

I sneaked about with my camera this morning to capture some of the ‘behind the scenes’ projects currently underway:


Graham building new covered patio area March11



Graham has been our Head Chef for the past 29 years …. however, not only is he a great chef, he’s also a skilled carpenter – so, during the winter months, he replaces his apron with overalls and takes charge of a multitude of building and maintenance tasks around the Park.  In this image (left) Graham is building a new covered patio as another alternative outdoor eating area.




Park's new frontage ready to be planted out 16 March 11



There’s a new Park frontage being built – this shows the project in mid-phase.  If you’d seen this space 8 weeks ago it looked like a Tsunami had swept through …. but now it’s coming together, the wooden fence is up, the wheel is in place and the plants are ready and waiting!






Re-turfing in Caribbean enclosure March 11




The image on the left shows Roger and Mark re-turfing part of the Caribbean Flamingo enclosure.






Sally preparing Retail & Cafe area for opening March11



Sally is in the midst of re-organising, re-decorating and spring-cleaning the Gift Shop and Cafe area (as well as unpacking incoming stock deliveries). 

Sally and Julie have been busy with a re-vamp of the furnishings for a few weeks now ….. we’re all looking forward to seeing the outcome ….



Julie touching up paintings in Tropical House March 11




Here’s Julie adding the final touches to some of the wall murals in the Tropical House.  Notice her peak-cap – this is one of the deterrents she has been using to discourage Damien, our very cheeky Green Crested Touraco, who has taken to dive-bombing Julie’s head and pecking her ears whilst she’s trying to work!






John painting





John has been doing a grand job of re-painting most of the interior areas of our various Park buildings – laying the foundation for a fresh start and setting the stage for new creative ideas.   John has been really great company over these past weeks – he’s going to be missed!






Roy the plumber working on new project



Roy is our regular on-site plumber – he gets involved in a multitude of tasks – repairs, upgrades and new projects.  I’m not actually sure what he’s doing here – but he’s contemplative and overlooking a pipe-filled hole in the ground – so I didn’t disturb him with a tirade of questions!




Kris sanding down patio tables




Kris is a ‘multi-tasker’ in our business.  Depending on the time of year and what’s happening on site, Kris assists in the catering department, doubles up as car park attendant, and is currently helping with various tasks such as sanding down and re-treating outdoor furniture (as this image on the right shows).







Well done to everyone for all their hard work – every little detail contributes towards the bigger picture – and results in Seaview Wildlife re-affirming its status as a multi-award winning Wildlife Park and as being one of the Isle of Wight’s leading tourist attractions.

Wallaby Joey being treated for anaemia

Vitamin B6 injection for Joey with Anaemia March 11Image of one of our young Bennett’s Wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) being treated by the Animal Care Team

As a follow-up to last week’s Blog that covered our vet’s visit to the Park – you may remember Doc Green took a blood sample from one of our brown Joeys born last year. We’re concerned that this young Wallaby is very small and underweight. The blood test results indicate that the Joey is anaemic and Doc Green has prescribed Vitamin B6 injections to be administered by the Animal Care Team over the next couple of weeks. The image above shows the first injection treatment in progress. We’re hoping that the vitamin boost will help to rectify the situation and that the anaemia isn’t due to an underlying internal infection of some kind. We’ll be monitoring the Joey carefully for signs of improvement or deterioration in the days ahead.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Vet visit to the Park


Our vet, Dr Ian Green, visits the Park fairly regularly and was here to check up on some of our animals yesterday.  Sometimes the visits are pro-active healthcare assessments, sometimes ‘Doc Green’ consult on specific  livestock ailments or injuries, and sometimes it’s a combination of both!  Some of our species are fairly easy to catch and transport by car or van to the vet practice in Newport.  Others are more difficult – catching them and boxing them for transport would cause unnecessary stress and disturbance – so ‘Doc Green’ treats those cases on-site here at the Park.


Closer look at female Crowned Crane


We have a beautiful young Crowned Crane that we drove all the way to the Netherlands to collect from an international specialist bird-breeder a few months ago.  Unfortunately she has developed some ankle and foot problems that have resulted in our treating her with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory/painkillers.  We’re hoping she’ll start to improve soon.  Warmer weather will definitely help!





Bumblefoot on Indian Runner Examining Indian Runner with foot problems



One of our Indian Runner Ducks has an ulcerated foot - but hopefully with the correct treatment and pain relief he’ll be back out on the main lake again soon.






Albino Joey with sunburn




Our Albino Bennetts Wallaby Joeys (the yearlings – born last Spring) have red, sore-looking areas on their ears as well as around their eyes and noses.  Incredibly this is sunburn – even though the sun during winter is very weak (and often non-existent in the sky!) it still causes the Albinos to burn.  The Animal Care Team have always conscientiously applied block-out sun cream during the summer months but from now on this will be done year-round.








One of our brown Bennetts Wallaby Joeys, born last year, is quite small for her age and a little underweight, so Doc Green took a blood sample and will be running some tests to see if there are any underlying health issues.





Humphrey 9 March 11


Humphrey a two year old  Humboldt Penguin, was born with a deformity of the spine – causing him to have a humped back.  Doc Green checks him intermittently to ensure his health has not deteriorated and that he is coping with everyday life.  It would seem that all is well – our dear Humphrey is walking and swimming okay and he’s not in any pain, so has been given the ‘all clear’!

Dr G checking Humphrey 

So, the animals are set and ready to receive our Park visitors from 2nd April onwards …….

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Letter of the Week!

Coinciding with Valentines day 2010 you may remember that we placed a ‘Lonely Hearts’ advert - looking for a mate for our Pygmy goat Basil.  We placed an advert in the County Press.  This brought in enquiries from all over the UK …. including coverage in the national press.  Basil ended up with a lovely friend called Olly who we identified on the Island and has been a wonderful friend to Bas ever since! 

basilAdvert appearing in local northern newspaper 7/2/10– reprinted on Dippy Seaview’s public ‘fan’ page earlier this week (courtesy of Vera Sausage-Brookes):


KEEPERS at a wildlife park have taken out a Valentine’s lonely hearts advert to find a mate for a GOAT.  The notice, placed in the local newspaper reads:

Short, dark and handsome.  A real hairy looker”.  It goes on to say that Basil the goat, who lives at Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isle of Wight: “Would like to meet caring, curvaceous goat with GSOH and who enjoys lots of kidding around, eating out and moonlit strolls.”

24 hr hotline number 01983 612261.Basil & Olly 6 Oct (resized)

In light of this, Dippy received a letter on his Facebook fan page this week from Vera Sausage-Brookes:

“Dear Dippy ...
Last year, we visited Seaview just because I had seen the Lonely Hearts advert which was placed in the paper on Valentines Day for a mate for Basil.
Since then, I applied for the TV show, Deal Or No Deal, and was lucky enough to appear. My first appearance is Tuesday 8th March 2011 and I did 23 shows. A photo of Basil appears on loads of the shows and he gets talked about nearly every day. Also, I mentioned you Dippy but sadly had no photograph of you with me to appear on the show.
Just letting you know in case you would have tuned in. The show is on Channel 4 at 3.55 p.m. and then on Channel 4+1 at 4.55 p.m. and on More 4 the next day at 1.30 p.m. It can also be watched for 30 days on the internet at 4OD:"

Thank you Vera for your enthusiasm and support – we all appreciate it very much and look forward to welcoming you to the Park this summer!

With our warmest wishes and thanks,

The Animal Care Team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The first Spring ducklings have hatched!

How do we know that Spring is on its way? The evenings are starting to draw out, the sun has a gentle warmth about it and the skies are looking bigger and bluer than in February …….. and, the first of our Mallard ducklings have hatched!

First Spring ducklings of 2011 First ducklings of 2011

I snapped these images earlier this morning of Mother Mallard with her tiny two-some. They’re quite timid and camera-shy so I didn’t stay around them for too long – just long enough to capture and share the excitement of new life with our Blog-followers!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


Our two six month old Miniature Pigs arrived this afternoon! “Alfie and Willis” were very kindly donated to the Park by the Whittington family from Shanklin. The Whittington’s have hand-reared the piglets from 6 weeks of age – initially in their conservatory and latterly in their back garden.

Alfie & Willis arriving at the Park 2 March 11


They’ve been loved, cuddled and spoilt like two puppies! Unfortunately, due to building extensions lessening the size of their back garden, Les and Elaine Whittington decided the pigs didn’t have enough space for foraging and needed to be re-homed.

Image left: Alfie (left) and Willis (right) arrived at the Park in the back of Les Whittington’s van.



Being coaxed from transport van to their new home


The family had grown very attached to the piglets (especially their eight year old daughter, Ella) so finding them a good home was really important. Elaine, just by chance, noticed our one-off advert in the County Press last week saying we were looking for micro pigs.

Image right: Les tempting the pigs out of the van with food.

Image below: Ella coaxing the two boys towards their new home.


 Ella coaxing the pigs along


Having been regular visitors to the Park the Whittingtons were really pleased at the prospect of the Park being the 'boys’ new home! It was almost as though it was meant to be! We had so hoped to find really tame miniature pigs – ideally on the Island so that they wouldn’t have the stress of a long-distance relocation .




Elaine, Ella and Les settling piggies in


Although young Ella was sad to part with her two pigs she seemed to be pleased to see them settling and snuffling in their new enclosure – and we’ve assured her that they’ll have plenty of love and attention from the Keepers and the visitors to the Park! We look forward to welcoming the Whittington family back to Seaview Wildlife to visit the boys whenever they feel the need!

Image right: Elaine, Ella and Les Whittington settling Alfie and Willis into their new home at Seaview Wildlife Encounter.