Thursday, 26 May 2011

Scarecrows at Seaview Wildlife!

Keeper scarecrow (resized) DSC_0775


Sally, manager of the Seaview Wildlife gift shop, has just finished putting together our rather splendid Keeper Scarecrow – he/she/it is now ready to be wheeled down to take part in the Gatcombe & Chillerton Scarecrow Festival this weekend! (Starts midday Saturday 28th May until Saturday evening 4th June).

The Gatcombe & Chillerton Scarecrow Festival won a gold award last year in last year’s Beautiful South Tourism Awards – so why not go and join in the fun – they’re expecting lots of ‘Gallybaggers’ of all types, shapes and sizes to be on display in the village gardens and on the village green!

Keeper scarecrow (resized) 2011 DSC_0776

Bank Holiday Weekend and “Love Your Zoo Week”


biazalogo  Seaview W E Love Your Zoo Logo


Press Release – 25 May 2011


A special “Love Your Zoo Quiz Trail” is taking place at Seaview Wildlife to celebrate “Love Your Zoo Week” when it is launched next week.

The campaign runs from Monday, May 30 to Sunday, June 5, and is being launched this year by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). Its aim is to encourage people to visit their local BIAZA zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks - not only for a fun day out, but also to learn just how much is being done for conservation, education and research.

Lorraine Adams, Director of Seaview Wildlife, said: “We’ve created a fun ‘Love Your Zoo Quiz Trail’ for families who would like to take a walk on the wild side with us during this celebratory week. The quiz trail combines with our nine daily ‘hands-on wildlife events’ for a fun, educational and interactive day out for people of all ages - allowing close encounters with an amazing array of birds and animals! We hope Islanders and visitors from further afield will join us in celebrating this event.”

More than 70 zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres across the UK will also be taking part in the campaign.

For more information on Love Your Zoo week or for special promotional offers visit


For further information please contact:

Jules Brittan, General Manager, Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Mobile: 077477 95077 (Mon-Thurs), Email:

Note: Seaview Wildlife Encounter became a full member of BIAZA in March this year.


BIAZA, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums

BIAZA is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK. With 100 members, its role is to develop and spread best practice within the UK and international zoo community, combining lobbying and campaigning with the development of policy in collaboration with the government and scientific organisations. BIAZA members support around 700 projects every year by providing financial support in excess of £10 million and by supplying skills, staff and equipment for conservation programmes worldwide. charity number: 248553

10 Reasons Why You Should Love Your (BIAZA) Zoo/Aquarium/Wildlife Park

1. More than 25 million people visit BIAZA’s member organisations every year – they are a great day out!

2. More than 1,200,000 people come to BIAZA member organisations each year on an organised educational visit – visiting your local zoo is a fun way to learn about animals!

3. BIAZA members participate in about 500 research projects every year, many of these measuring behaviour with the aim of improving animal welfare – you are helping us learn about helping wildlife

4. BIAZA members participate in about 700 conservation projects every year

5. They contribute about £10m a year to field projects

6. BIAZA members contribute about £645m to the national economy

7. They create about 11,007 jobs

8. By visiting zoos you are helping to safeguard the future of vulnerable, threatened and endangered species

9. You can visit more than 2,000 different species of animal!

10. By visiting your local zoo or aquarium you are doing a good thing by taking the time to appreciate our wildlife and hopefully being inspired to make a difference.            


Monday, 23 May 2011

GOOSE OR DUCK? Gosling or duckling?

As you know, spring is the season for an array of fluffy chicks, ducklings and goslings – we currently have a myriad of species here at Seaview Wildlife, mostly born to wild fowl who choose the sanctity of the Park to raise their young each year. Amongst the ducks, geese, swans, chickens and guinea fowl some are rare breeds, some common and some hybrid….and then of course there’s the odd one out, the adopted duckling ….

You can imagine our surprise when we noticed this week’s conundrum - the duckling who should be (or wants to be) a gosling! A pair of wild Barnacle geese nesting in the central area of our Park have somehow become proud adoptive parents to a tiny Mallard duckling!

2 Canada Goslings DSC_0332

Here on the right are two Canada goslings (Branta canadensis) running to keep up with their Mum on the central area of the Park

Mother Barnacle with new goslings May 2010 (JB) DSC_0470

The image (left) shows a female Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) with her newly hatched brood of Goslings

Cropped Barnacle pair with adopted Mallard duckling DSC_0761 Cropped Barnacle pair with Mallard duckling DSC_0738

Is it a gockling? Or perhaps a dosling? No, it’s a voluntary inter-species adoption – the tiny Mallard duckling (above) appears to be convinced it’s a newly hatched Barnacle gosling and the adult Barnacle pair undoubtedly believe the youngster is theirs – they’re displaying very typically protective parental behaviour – extreme vigilance and defensiveness.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

DIPPY peeking through

Yesterday, during our latest “Wildest Place for a Special Date”, Dippy seemed determined to keep a check on proceedings …. as soon as Rachel and Simon started to leave the Penguin pool area Dippy was seen peeking through the gate – apparently checking on our guests and making note of where they were going next!

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Our second “Wildest Place for a Special Date”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Rachel & Simon with Penguins DSC_0603                                            Dippy peeking through gate DSC_0606

Yesterday marked the second of our new “Wildest Place for a Special Date”  experiences!  We were very pleased to welcome Rachel and Simon to Seaview Wildlife for the day.  The special date was a surprise – a treat from Rachel to Simon – in celebration of his 40th birthday!  Here are a few of the day’s images and the letter we received from Simon last evening.  Thank you to both Rachel and Simon for being such wonderful guests – we look forward to seeing you back at the Park again soon!


Rachel & Simon feeding Penguins DSC_0659








Rachel photographing Meerkat DSC_0645 

Rachel & Simon with Meerkats DSC_0634

Rachel & Simon feeding Wallabies DSC_0721


Rachel & Simon feeding Wallabies (& Duck!) DSC_0709 

Rachel & Simon with Alfie DSC_0616    Simon & Rachel with Alpacas DSC_0701

Simon & Rachel with Olly the Goat DSC_0706Rachel & Simon looking outside Harvest Mice enclosure DSC_0692

Rachel & Simon (resized) DSC_0726 Rachel & Simon (resized) DSC_0729


“Dear Jules

Thank you very much for everything you and your team did for Rachel and I today to make my 40th birthday celebration so memorable.  We had an absolutely fantastic day – getting so close to the animals was an amazing experience, everyone made us feel very welcome and very special, and lunch was delicious.  It was great to discover each animal’s character and to learn about them in more detail, and how well you care for all of the animals.  I still think that goats look at me funny, but at least I now know that they aren’t quite as scary as I thought they were.  The “wildest place for a special date” is a brilliant idea and would make a fabulous experience for anyone.  We will definitely visit again with the children.  Thank you for the brilliant photos, they have given us both a wonderful way to remember our special day.

Good luck for the rest of the season and we hope to see you again soon.

Kind Regards

Simon & Rachel”

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Wildest Place for a Special Date!

As you may know, we recently launched a new venture - “Wildest Place for a Special Date” – for the discerning guest looking for an extra special time at the Park.

Below is a sneak preview of the new advertisement due to appear in the Chamber of Commerce Island Business Magazine, June edition.  A big thank you to Mike at Crossprint for his ongoing creativity!

Layout 1

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


We are so lucky to receive such wonderful, positive feedback in our Visitors Book.  This is on display in our Gift Shop/Restaurant area and the comments keep rolling in……….

  4th time for me, 2nd time for my daughter.  She loves the ducks and penguins.  It’s a nice Park.  Wish there was one in Bristol”  Trina & Teigan Martin, Bristol

  We all had a great time, the sun was out and everyone was happy – thank you!”  Terry and Tracey, Esher, Surrey

  Very impressed by overall care and attention to cleanliness especially the ‘ loos ‘ !”

  A great day out, great setting and plenty to see and do, thanks”  L. Hardy, Leicestershire

  Everyone enjoyed the Park, lovely set up.  Children adored feeding the ducks” Sally. _DSC4972 pink flamingo

“  Enchanting place, really enjoyable day out”  Cambs.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Keeper for a day – Matthew Boyce

This week the Keepers were joined by thirteen year old Matthew Boyce from Shirley. Matthew visited the Park twice last year and when asked what he would like to do for his birthday he chose to come back again but this year as a Keeper for a day!

Matthew has a particular interest in birds and keeps Quail and Zebra Finches at home. Therefore he was particularly looking forward to feeding the Pelicans and Penguins….



But little did he know we had an extra treat up our sleeve, or in our pouch should I say, as we introduce him to Henry, our orphaned Joey!



Due to the fact Matthew was only here for half a day we wasted no time and wasn’t long before Matthew was getting mobbed by our Wallabies…..




And then joined our gang of Meerkats for a mid morning snack!

When Matthew was asked what his favourite part of the day was he simply answered “everything!”

Matthew was an extremely pleasant and knowledgeable young man and think we may even have competition to keep our animal keeping jobs in the future!

Orphaned Joey update..

As you may recall this little Joey was rescued from being left out in the cold after being rejected by its mother a couple of weeks ago. 

Henry Cooper 3 May 11 (resized) DSC_0182

For those eager to know how he is progressing, here are a few photos of our little Henry I thought I would share with you. 

It is thought that Henry is approximately  just 4 months and therefore would not be old enough to leave the safety of his mother’s pouch. Therefore he continues to be carried around in a cosy blanketed rucksack in order to keep him warm and secure and is regularly fed a mixture of evaporated milk and fruit paste using a syringe by one of our Keepers.


Unlike many of the animals here at the Park it seems that Henry is already ‘pouch trained’ and waits to be taken out of the rucksack before doing his business!  


It’s not long however before Henry is looking for the comfort of one of his surrogate Mother’s as he tumbles back into his cosy pouch for a well earned snooze…


Although Henry looks all skin and bone, the Keepers, as well as the rest of the staff here at the Park, are doing their best to ensure Henry receives lots of TLC  and is never short of volunteers to Joey sit…

Please keep checking our blog for more updates on Henry’s progress!

Saturday, 14 May 2011



Dear Jules,

I know Kate has emailed you already, but I wanted to add my own personal thank you for yesterday.  I know it was Kate’s special day, but it was so special to me too.  I’ve always loved animals of all kinds (except 8 legged!) and it was such a treat to get so close to some of the more unusual creatures that you don’t get as pets.  I loved the whole experience, but if I had to pick a favourite, I think it would be the Meerkats – even managed to get in a little stroke whilst distracting them with mealworms.  I was blown away when we saw our lunch table all set up with flowers, wasn’t expecting that and what a lovely lunch it was too (and lots of it).

Honestly Jules, the day was just perfect, I could not fault one thing (apart from a little drizzle which obviously beyond your control) I wish we could have spent the last couple of hours there, but I still spent the rest of the day with a smile on my face, telling everybody I encountered ‘ guess where we’ve just been….’

What a lovely bunch you all are there, everyone so friendly and genuine.  It seems such a happy place to work.  Thanks for emailing all those photos too – lovely memories to look back on.

Once again thank you to all of you for a wonderful experience and making us so welcome.

Best wishes


_DSC4938 PS Give Keith a kiss on the beak from me!xxxxxxx

Our first “Wildest Place for a Special Date” V.I.P. guests!!

Kate & Alex with Penguins 0543 - Copy  Alex & Kate with Meerkats 0523

Yesterday marked the first of our brand new “Wildest Place for a Special Date” experiences!  We had everything planned and ready for this special occasion -  and were really excited to welcome our first V.I.P. guests, Alex Marlow and Kate Thomas.  Rather than attempting to report back on the event, perhaps it would more meaningful to share the wonderful letter we received from Kate this morning, along with a few of the images of the day:

Alex & Kate with Piggies 0491

Kate with Wallabies 0475 - Copy


“Hi Jules,
Thank you for the email and photos, they're wonderful. Alex with Damien on her head 0563
I wanted to email you to thank you and the team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, for such an amazing day yesterday. It was, as you know, a complete surprise to me but couldn't have been a better birthday present from Alex and my frieKate & Alex with Priscilla 0568 - Copynds at work.
You were a fabulous host and guide and all the team treated us so specially we really did feel like V.I.Ps, thank you so much for all your time.
It was such a privilege to get us close and personal with all the furry, feathery and even scaly residents of the park (I had to be very restrained in not smuggling a Joey or field mouse home in my bag!) and such a pleasure to see how well cared for the all animals are and learn about your breeding programs and participation in endangered animal scheme, I hope that you succeed in all your endeavors anKate with Henry Cooper 0572d will be recommendKate with duckling 0461 - Copying a visit to the park as a must to all my family and friends.  
I think the V.I.P. day is a brilliant idea for any special occasion and although Alex organised the surprise she too was delighted with the fabulous lunch and the flowers and champagne really did top the day off. I am now thinking of possible opportunities where I can have an excuse to do it all again and have already told my husband that we have to visit again soon so we can see how little Henry Cooper is doing!
Thank you again for such a wonderful experience.
Kindest regards and best wishes, Kate Thomas”



           Tracy, Alex, Kate and Sally 0575VIP lunch table for Kate & Alex 0570


Thank you to both Kate and Alex for being such wonderful V.I.P. guests – we look forward to welcoming you back to Seaview Wildlife again really soon!