Thursday, 25 August 2011

V.I.P. “Wildest Date” couple celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary!

Peter and Debbie Barnes have been together for 11 years and married a year ago; they chose to celebrate their first wedding anniversary with us yesterday! The couple are from Essex and are holidaying here on the Island this week. They both love animals and were really taken with the whole concept of being VIP guests, being able to enjoy the special privileges the “Wildest Date” brings – behind the scenes time with the animals, a one-on-one guided tour with a senior member of the Team, and of course a delicious lunch prepared by our chef! There were so many lovely images of Peter & Debbie it’s difficult to choose a few to share with you ….

Third time lucky – “Keeper for a Day” Denise becomes volunteer!

Denise Gormer, who lives on the Island, had her third “Keeper for a Day” experience with us on Tuesday of this week – celebrating her birthday! Denise really loves the Park; she said that her husband doesn’t need to ask about what she’d like for her birthday – being with the animals at Seaview Wildlife is her first choice!

Due to recent cut-backs where she’s employed, Denise is about to start working a four day week. It was this coupled with getting along so well with the Animal Care Team that prompted Denise to enquire about volunteering at the Park. It didn’t take long to process the few formalities - and we are really pleased to confirm Denise’s appointment as a volunteer, one day a week, starting in September!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The face of an Angel – today’s Junior Wildlife Experience – Emily Petty


Emily, who lives on the Island, truly has the face of an Angel (as can be seen from the beautiful images below).  Emily was treated to this Junior Wildlife Experience yesterday as her eighth birthday present from her Gran.  Dad, Jason, came along too and both he and Emily seemed to have a really good time!  It really was a pleasure to have spent the morning with this father and daughter team.


Junior Wildlife Experience for brother and sister


Heather (aged 8) and Nathan (aged 12) are brother and sister.  They were treated to a Junior Wildlife Experience here at Seaview Wildlife by their Mum, Mandi.  Although currently living on the Island, the family are returning to the mainland and Mandi wanted the children to have this as a special memory to take with them.



Kirsty Brown – Keeper for a Day


Thirteen year old Kirsty and her family have been on the Isle of Wight on holiday from their home in Oxford.  Kirsty has a sister who has special needs.  The Social Services that Kirsty’s family are dealing with recently put out a special questionnaire to Kirsty and other children who are siblings of special needs children.  The questionnaire aims to find out more about how the brothers and sisters of special needs children live their lives and what they do in their leisure time.  As an incentive to complete the questionnaire, Kirsty (and the other siblings within similar families) were offered £100 to spend on themselves for a special outing.  Kirsty chose to put her prize money into being a Keeper for a Day at Seaview Wildlife.  We feel extremely privileged at this choice and hope that the day was everything that Kirsty hoped it would be.



Saturday, 20 August 2011


The 2 boys  March 10 DSC_0147

  A lovely Park, we all really enjoyed it, especially taking part in feeding the animals”

  I loved being a zoo keeper!  I really love all the staff – mainly Fern!  Had a fab’ time! 

  Lived on the Island for 9 years and never been before – very impressed”

  Fantastic place, never seen so many different birds in a lovely environment”

  Brilliant day out – well displayed.  Good variety.  Well done”

  Brilliant Zoo – 5 stars”

  10/10 The best zoo I’ve ever been to.  Love the animals (mainly the parrots and the ducks).  I would love to work here”

  Very impressed.  Had a lovely day.  The whole place is set out really well & is beautiful.  If I was a bird I would definately like to live here!!”

  Beautifully kept wildlife park.  All the animals must be very happy here and the scones are delicious”!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Keeper for a Day – Jake Gibbs

Thirteen year old Jake Gibbs from Freshwater, Isle of Wight, was treated by his Mum to being “Keeper for a Day” at Seaview Wildlife yesterday. We loved Jake’s enthusiasm - he really seemed to love every minute! Jake said the experience has made him realise he’d like to work with animals after he leaves school. He enjoyed all the close encounters but said he particularly loved his time with the Meerkats.

Junior Wildlife Experience for three brothers!

We usually limit the number of participants to two at a time on our “Junior Wildlife Experience” but an exception was made for the three Gladney brothers who joined us earlier this week. Accompanied by Mum and Dad these three lads had a wonderful time! At the end of their up-close wild adventure with us, Dad (Patrick Gladney) said that it had been an experience of a lifetime for the whole family! There are so many lovely images of Christopher (14), David (11) and Peter (9) that it has been really difficult to choose a few for this Blog! We look forward to welcoming the family back again soon!

Spotlight on our handsome Humboldts after the moult!


Our colony of Humboldt Penguins are looking dapper and dashing again after their annual moult!  Every summer, over a period of a few weeks in mid summer, the Penguins lose all their feathers - this is known as a catastrophic moult and is a natural occurrence in the wild as well as in captivity.

As many of our visitors will know, during the moult the Penguins look extremely scruffy …. not only that, but they tend to spend most of their time on land rather than in the water.  This is an instinctive reaction when they lose feathers and are not fully waterproof.  During these few weeks we ensure that those in our colony not fishing in the pool are fed on land – by being tossed a few scrumptious sprats each day.   Our “Keeper for a Day” and “Junior Wildlife Experience” participants have really enjoyed this opportunity for close-up feeding time with Dippy and all his pals.


DSC_0056 Fat & fluffy mid moult (resized) JB DSC_0050

Above: fat, fluffy and rather frumpy in their tatty creamy brown plumage the images above show a few of our Penguins in the midst of their annual moult.


New feathers after moult August 2011 (cropped & resized) DSC_1908 Dippy after moulting (resized) Aug 11 DSC_1925

Immediately above: Wow look at us now!  Only a few weeks later - these images, taken yesterday, show the colony back to their handsome best!  Dippy (right) is looking particularly proud and pleased with his fresh new debonair look!



Jemima feeding Wallabies DSC_1366 

Dear Mr & Mrs Adams, Mark & Lorraine


On behalf of all the team at Island Holiday Media we would like to pass on our congratulations for reaching 40 years of service for one of the finest wildlife parks in the country.  This is a real milestone!

Sadly in this recent climate it seems that 4 years seems to be the limit of many tourism businesses let alone 40!

I’m sure we will all be congratulating again when 40 becomes 50 years!!

All the very best for the future,

Best regards,

David, Tim, Alexis and the rest of the team.

Island Holiday Media, Newport, Isle Of Wight.


Keeper for a Day – Alana Hargreaves

Alana and her family have been on the Island for a summer break. They read about being a “Keeper for a Day” in one of the Island magazines whilst travelling across on the ferry – and rang up to make a booking. At the end of her Keeper for a Day experience, Alana said “It’s been a brilliant day!” When asked what her favourite animal is at Seaview Wildlife Alana quickly replied “the Pigs!” – Alfie and Willis the Miniature Pigs (who are as friendly as two ‘waggy-tailed’ dogs) had lots of extra cuddles from their new friend, Alana.

Wildest Place for a Honeymoon Date!

We were really pleased that Chris and Francesca Nunn chose Seaview Wildlife as their “wildest honeymoon destination”. The newly weds were married in Shanklin and are honeymooning on the Island from their home in Aldershot, Hampshire. Chris and Francesca said they had a fantastic day in the Park and loved being treated like V.I.P.s. We wish the two of them a long, happy and love-filled life together. I’ve included a selection of images of their special day with us:

Work Experience Veterinary Student – Lucy Vale

We’ve had the pleasure of Lucy Vale’s company at the Park this week! Lucy has been volunteering with us as part of the practical Work Experience requirement for her BVSc Veterinary Medicine. Lucy, who lives on the Island but studies away on the mainland, already has a BSc in Equine Science. She is hoping to become an equine vet in due course but is keen to gain as much varied experience as possible in the interim. Lucy has really fitted in with the team here. Her cheerful, positive approach and ability to ‘just get on with it’ has been greatly appreciated! All the Team here at Seaview Wildlife join me in wishing Lucy the very best with her future studies – and we look forward to a future visit!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Little “Henry Cooper” has very sadly lost his fighting spirit…. I’m sorry to announce that he was was put to sleep this morning.

Many of you will remember this little chap, the tiny Wallaby Joey that we adopted back in early May of this year after his mother’s pouch seemed unable to hold him and we kept finding him abandoned and cold on the ground. He was hand-reared by the Animal Care Team and was greatly loved by all who had the privilege of spending time with him.

Over the past week or two Henry’s health deteriorated. He developed cataracts in both his eyes and almost overnight went completely blind. He also became severely anaemic; the vet suspected there may be internal haemorrhaging. Despite various attempts to treat him, Henry’s recovery wasn’t to be.

Thank you to all of you who helped to make his short life a happy one.

A few of our favourite images of little “Henry Cooper” – R.I.P. X

D Nimmo & Henry (resized) DSC_0877

Image above is of Dr Derric Nimmo who was a Keeper for a Day with us on 1st June – I particularly like this memory of Henry Cooper.

“JUNIOR WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE” – great fun for our younger V.I.P. guests!

Lily and Shanelle are from the Newport area on the Isle of Wight. It was Lily’s 9th birthday on Monday (15th August) and her parents treated her (with her friend Shanelle) to a "Junior Wildlife Experience” at Seaview Wildlife. We had a great time together – getting up close to a variety of different animals. The girls seemed to really love it, and the adults did too! Graeme emailed through a really lovely letter this morning that I’ve included after the images below:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Just wanted to say thanks again for a truly magnificent day out at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. Lily and Shanelle both loved their Junior Wildlife Encounter, as did we ("We being Lily's Mum and Nan and of course me, her Dad). The experience manages to combine fun and education in such a way that you're not even aware it's happening. You're just too busy enjoying it to notice! We would recommend this to any parent/guardian and Jules was fantastic and was so kind and informative. I'm pleased to say that we were one of the first and I know they'll want to come back when they're older for the next Zookeeper experience! In the meantime of course, we will continue to enjoy your fantastic park. We can also recommend the Birthday Parties for the younger kids, having had one last year.

Thank you a million times over,

Muscovy Ducklings – a gorgeous new brood hatches at Seaview Wildlife!

The two images below were taken earlier this morning – of mother Muscovy with her adorable newly hatched brood of ducklings!


The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck which is native to Mexico and Central and South America; feral populations also exist in Europe. Although the Muscovy Duck is a tropical bird, it adapts to icy and snowy conditions down to –12°C or lower without ill effects. Domesticated Muscovy Ducks can breed up to three times each year.

The female (hen) lays a clutch of 8-16 white eggs, usually in a tree hole or hollow, which are incubated for about 35 days. The sitting hen will only leave the nest once a day for a few minutes to defecate, drink water, eat and sometimes bathe. Once the eggs begin to hatch it may take 24 hours for all the chicks to break through their shells. When feral chicks are born they usually stay with their mother for about 10–12 weeks. Their bodies cannot produce all the heat they need, especially in temperate regions such as the UK, so they stay close to their mother, especially at night.

In the wild, the male (drake) usually stays in close contact with the brood for their first few weeks of life. He walks with the young and provides protection for them during their normal travels in search for food. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, in response to different environmental conditions, other adults assist in protecting chicks and providing warmth at night. It has been suggested that this is in response to humans culling the eggs, which has led to an atypical distribution of males and females as well as young and mature birds.

For the first few weeks of their lives, Muscovy ducklings feed on grains, corn, grass, insects, and almost anything that moves. Their mother instructs them at an early age how to feed.


Our young Muscovy family were rounded up this morning into the safety of an enclosure (with shelter, a pond and lush green grass) until they’re big enough to be released into the the main area of the Park. Once they’re old enough to fly they are then free to choose to stay on in the Park or fly off to explore other areas. Mostly they choose to stay ….

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Keeper for a Day – Harry Saull


Fifteen year old Harry Saull from Berkshire spent the day with us at Seaview Wildlife late last week  - experiencing the magic of being a Keeper for a Day!  Harry said he’d had a fantastic day – he particularly enjoyed his close encounters with the Meerkats, his cuddles with Henry Cooper the Wallaby Joey, and was quite pleased at overcoming his initial hesitancy in handling the snake!  Harry is hoping to go on and work with animals in the future.  We all wish Harry the very best of luck for the future.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Keeper for a Day – Richard Malloy

Richard was treated to being a Keeper for a Day on Friday (12 August) by his girlfriend, Sarah. They’re from Leeds and both love animals; Richard is hoping to study further towards an Animal Management course – so this was a good taster for him! Richard said he’d had a fantastic day and really loved Henry Cooper!

Keeper for a Day – Victoria Williams

Victoria and her family have been here on the Isle of Wight from their home in Swindon – being a Keeper for a Day at Seaview Wildlife was a gift from her Dad. Victoria is 14 years old and has a keen interest in animals. She said she really loved the day and was particularly taken with Henry Cooper the little orphaned Wallaby Joey.

Victoria and Henry Cooper DSC_1474 Victoria feeding Pelicans DSC_1416 Victoria feeding (moulting) Penguins DSC_1438

Victoria with (moulting) Penguins DSC_1458 Victoria with Meerkat on lap DSC_1507 Victoria feeding Wallabies DSC_1502Victoria with Ferret DSC_1528 Victoria with Meerkat on lap DSC_1524