Thursday, 29 September 2011


Dear Seaview Wildlife Encounter,

Last week I was a keeper for a day and I just want to thank you all for making it such an amazing day and enjoyable experience!

Throughout the day you were ever so kind and I learnt lots.  I really was in the thick of it and will definitely recommend it to others!

Your staff were very friendly and helped me in many ways.  They treated me as if I was one of them and made me feel very relaxed.

I want to work with animals when I am older and this was a fantastic opportunity to get an idea of what it is like.

Thank you again,

From Sophie Swallow

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Transfer of Penguins to new home at Wingham


This seems to be the time of year for transferring livestock!  Earlier this week we saw some of our Wallabies off to a new home on the mainland and this morning was the turn of three of our male Humboldt Penguins.  Last year we transferred ten of our Penguins to a new home at Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent.  Today we sent off three more males to join the group.  Tony and Jackie (Directors of Wingham) came over personally to manage the process and to ensure the safety of our three boys.

Whilst they were here, Tony and Jackie noticed and enquired about our abundant brood of Chilean Flamingos (our flock have successfully reared another 16 chicks this year).  We’ve subsequently arranged for a transfer of nine of last year’s chicks to take place later this year.


Our regular Blog followers may remember that Liesl Thomas was treated to a “Junior Wildlife Experience” with us this Saturday just past - 24th September. Here’s a couple of images of Liesl as a reminder, taken on the day.

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“ I arranged for my grand-daughter, Liesl, to be ‘Junior Keeper for the Day’ to celebrate her 10th birthday yesterday. She had an amazing day – the best birthday ever – and I can’t speak too highly of the experience. From the moment we arrived until we left we had a wonderful time. Tara, the keeper who was with Liesl for the morning, could not have been kinder, or more helpful and geared the visit to Liesl’s interests and pace making it a really special time. The refreshments and chance to chat about the morning and the photo CD at the end of our time with Tara were a bonus. Thank you again for making such a memorable and special birthday.

Thank you to everyone at the Park and especially to Tara for making Liesl’s ‘Junior Keeper for the Day’ experience so special.

Dale Godfrey”

Monday, 26 September 2011

Wallabies re-homed to farm near Bristol

From time to time we move our breeding livestock on to new homes. This is to keep numbers at an optimum level (ensuring sufficient grazing) and most importantly to strengthen bloodlines and promote genetic diversity.


New Logo in pdf format (reduced size) Today, four of our Wallaby mob were re-homed to Chew Valley Country Farm near Bristol. Joanne and Gary arrived in their customised van (we’re very envious of this vehicle – a multi-purpose, animal transporter modified by Gary!) Three of our brown females and one albino male are now on their way to their new home – to join a collection of animals including Alpacas, Miniature Donkeys, Pygmy Goats, Rhea and Sheep.

Jake Cousins of our Animal Care Team took charge of the catching-up process. As can be seen above, Jake is very adept at restraining and moving Wallabies – with no disruption or stress to the animals whatsoever– in fact they were lifted, crated and moved into the transport vehicle without any commotion, all four of them seemingly more interested in munching on their straw bedding than worrying about any change of environment!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Junior Wildlife Experience - Liesl Thomas

Liesl Thomas celebrated her 10th birthday with Grandmother Dale, who treated her to a ‘Junior Wildlife Experience’ here at the Park. Liesl and Dale were accompanied by Head Keeper Tara for the morning, where Liesl was able to get that little bit closer to some of our furry and feathery friends….

Believe it or not our comical Guinea Fowl were actually Liesl’s favourite animal in the Park, so there seemed no better way to finish off the morning than to introduce Liesl to our two very greedy Guinea Fowl chicks….

It was an absolute pleasure to spend the morning with both Liesl and Dale and I hope that they both took home some special memories of their day!

Keepers for the Day – Sylvia and Zak

Sylvia Giblin and Grandson Zak, this week joined the Animal Care Team to find out what a typical day is really like for a Keeper. Eleven year old Zak is home-taught and therefore Grandmother Sylvia thought it would be an ideal interactive and educational experience for animal-enthusiast Zak to learn more about animals.

Zak has a particular interest in Snakes and therefore it didn’t take him long to make friends with Kaiser, our Californian King Snake….

And it appears that Damien, our tame Green Crested Touraco, also took quite a shine to Sylvia!

What with being mobbed by Wallabies…..

….and smothered with mealworms, both Sylvia and Zak still had smiles on their faces and enough energy to feed the hundreds of Ducks down at the lower lake!


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Feeding Frenzy at Lower Lake!


This is no ordinary feeding session – it’s a feeding frenzy!

At this time of year (September and October) we feed our ever-hungry wildfowl (Ducks, Geese, Swans and Guinea Fowl ) down at our lower lake at 3.15 every afternoon.  It’s a sight to behold – a spectacle of avian antics!  We regularly invite our visitors to join in the fun – everyone is welcome to dig into the grain bucket and throw handfuls of wheat to the birds – much to the delight of old and new alike! 

These are a few images taken yesterday in the beautiful, warm autumn sunlight.

Tom Metcalfe – a most charming “Keeper for a Day”


Yesterday (Weds, 21st September), Tom Metcalfe from Totland on the Isle of Wight, was treated to being a Keeper for a Day by his girlfriend – as a birthday present.  Tom was really delightful company and a pleasure to have as a part of the Animal Care Team!  He embraced the day with great enthusiasm – diving into every experience with good humour and an eagerness to be involved.  At the end of his day with us Tom said he didn’t have any favourite animals – he loved them all – but the moment when he saw the young Joey peek out of its mother’s pouch was a once in a lifetime experience.  Tom’s parting question to us was: “would I be boring if I did this again next year?'”



Friends and ex-colleagues, Ann and Lyn, spent the day celebrating at the Park yesterday! After reading about the “Wildest Place for a Special Date” on our website, Ann decided to treat her friend Lyn to being a V.I.P. on this special birthday outing. It was a complete surprise for Lyn who only knew that they were going out for lunch and that she needed to wear clothes and shoes suitable for walking!

Although I took the usual selection of photographs during the event, there were some really fun shots of Ann with one of our Meerkats! Although we ask our V.I.P. guests not to touch the Meerkats (they’re wild animals and can give a nasty nip if they feel threatened or frightened) it’s more difficult to lay down guidelines for how the Meerkats behave! As can be seen from some of the images below one of the Meerkats took a real liking to Ann, climbed onto her shoulder and had a look in her ear! This hasn’t happened before so we’ve asked Ann if we might use a couple of these ‘Meerkat Moments’ in our advertising!


Man and Meerkat touching face

The best we have seen. So clean & creatures are so happy!”

Fab, great value for money and very interesting. Will recommend to friends”

Fantastic birthday party & great food. Would highly recommend – thank you!”

Wonderful Park – clean, fab for the children – thank you”

Very very well looked after – beautiful”

Wonderful, just simply wonderful”

Had a great time – youngest was a keeper for the morning – great fun thank you”

Back again 3rd year running! fantastic time, animals and staff fab”

What a lovely place to visit. It has really lifted my spirits visiting here. The cheesecake was tasty too!”

I have been coming here for years and love, love, love it still xx”

Came here for 17th birthday it has been a brilliant day. Fantastic to be able to feed the animals – second visit this year!”

Adored the wallabies, children loved the activity room when it was raining. Beautifully set out place lovely design & staff all so friendly. Definately will return”

Last came here 40 years ago when Flamingo Park! Here with my 6 year old. Lots of fun, v. friendly – all staff. Will recommend. Come along way since my last visit!”

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Keeper for the Day - Sophie Swallow

Sophie Swallow celebrated her last day before coming a teenager as a Keeper for the Day here at the Park. Although Sophie, from Bembridge, loves to dance in her spare time, animals are her main interest and she is hoping to become a vet when she leaves school! Sophie shadowed Animal Keeper Charlotte who took some great shots of Sophie’s special day…..

At home, Sophie normally has her hands full looking after Rabbits and Guinea Pigs and therefore it was a real treat when she found herself surrounded by Penguins, Wallabies and even Meerkats!

Monday, 19 September 2011


Peter and Debbie Barnes celebrated their first anniversary with us last month (you may remember the Blog?) Debbie treated Peter – deciding that Seaview Wildlife was to be the “wildest place for their special anniversary date!”. Peter sent through this wonderful email last week as a follow up to their visit:

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Friday Sept 9th 2011

“Debbie and I have visited many Zoos and Wildlife parks including London Zoo, Colchester and several whilst on holiday abroad. We can honestly say that we have never had such a personal, interesting and charming visit to such a place before.

Our day at Seaview Wildlife Encounter was by far the most enjoyable experience we have ever had. We are very wary of which zoos/parks and so on that we visit as the welfare of the animals there is of our utmost concern - the whole feel and atmosphere we felt at Seaview was one of 'Animals First', their care and comfort is obviously your top priority, and the evidence for this was plain to see. All the animals had plenty of space, well maintained enclosures and a high proportion of keepers to care for them.

Going as a 'standard' visitor would give anybody a hugely entertaining and fun day out with so many different animals to see, touch and feed - perfect day out for families and children of all ages (me included - 46, refusing to grow old gracefully!). As a special treat, my wife Debbie booked us in for the V.I.P. visit which included a personalised 2 hour tour where we had the opportunity to go into the enclosures and feed Pelicans (highly comical characters), Wallabies (very cute and inquisitive), Penguins (cheeky chappies, great fun and a bit naughty) and what has to be our absolute favourites, the Meerkats - what can't I say about these two young ladies? They were of course very appealing, hugely inquisitive and most endearing. Debbie and I had the chance to sit in their enclosure and hand feed them live meal-worms (not half as bad as it sounds!). If we sat absolutely still, they would climb up onto our laps and take the food from the little cups we were given - they would even take them from our hands if we were especially still and quiet.

The tour was topped off with a 3 course Champaign meal! What an experience! I have never done anything like this before and Debbie and I really feel a part of us will forever be at 'Seaview', an amazing day out we will never forget.

Our heartfelt thanks to all the very kind, attentive staff and especially to Jules, our friendly and informative guide for the day, she really made us feel like V.I.P.s during our time there. I have no words to say how highly we recommend that everyone should have a visit at least once to your wonderful Wildlife Encounter Park - we can't wait to go back!”

Thank you to Peter and Debbie for taking the time to express this wonderful, positive feedback about their “Wildest Date” experience.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Keeper for the Day - Cristina Garcia-Vince

Animal Enthusiast, Cristina was this week treated to become a ‘Keeper for the Day’ by mum and Grandmother as a belated 28th birthday present. Having never visited the Park before Cristina was certainly in for a lot of surprises!

Cristina’s particular highlights were most definitely the Penguins, especially Skipper; as well as our greedy Pigs Alfie and Willis and she loved feeding the ducks, geese and swans down at the lower lake too! Cristina was overjoyed to have so much hands-on interaction and felt very welcomed by all our Keeper Staff throughout the day.

We hope to welcome Cristina back to the Park in the near future and living close-by in Ryde she certainly has no excuse!

BDMLR help stranded Harbour Porpoise found on the Isle of Wight

The BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) is a registered charity and is operated entirely by volunteers. Rescue teams are on call 24 hours a day to deal with strandings and injuries of marine animals (Cetaceans) as a result of oil spills, fishing gear entanglement and other causes, 365 days a year.

Head Keeper Tara, has been a member of the BDMLR and Marine Mammal Medic for at least 2 years now and fortunately during this time has never received an emergency call to assist in a Cetacean or seal stranding until now!

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The BDMLR were called during the early evening of the 13th September when a live stranded dolphin species was found by a member of the public on Grange Farm beach located on the South coast of the Isle of Wight. The RSPCA, Solent Coastguards and BDLMR Marine Mammal Medics arrived as soon as informed and the rescue operation was soon under-way.


After identifying the Dolphin species as an adult Harbour Porpoise measuring approximately 160cm in length, the marine mammal was then checked for any obvious injuries and general body condition. Unfortunately the Cetacean did have superficial wounds as a result of being washed up on such a rocky beach and it was decided that she should be moved onto higher, softer ground using an inflatable pontoon where she would be more comfortable. The Porpoise was then covered in damp sheets to stop her drying out, which could cause dehydration and skin damage.

On Tara’s arrival, the Porpoise had been given antibiotics and seemed to be in a relatively stable condition, it was just a case of keeping the Porpoise hydrated by gently pouring sea water over the body.


After an hour it was decided that the Porpoise was strong enough to attempt a re-flotation, the only question was where? Due to the high South Westerly winds it was agreed that the best place would be on the northern side of the Island where it was hoped the sea would be much calmer. Half an hour later the Marine Mammal Medics arrived at Appley beach to attempt to re-float the Porpoise by laying her on a tarpaulin sheet and gently rocking her in the water in order to re-gain balance and orientation.

Unfortunately after a couple of attempts she became quite tired and distressed and it soon became evident that the operation would most likely result in a re-stranding of the Porpoise. Therefore it was decided by the vet that in this instance it would be fairer to put the Porpoise to sleep.

Although this case didn’t have a happy ending, if it weren't for the dedication of members of the BDMLR, RSPCA and Coastguards, many hundreds of Seals and other Marine Mammals would not have been rescued or stood a chance of survival. If you would like more information about becoming a Marine Mammal Medic in your local area please visit

The growing support from the public and volunteers is what will enable such charities to continue their valuable work into the future!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Egg -Tastic!

Although the weather is starting to cool and the breeding season for our birds is drawing to an end, it seems our comical Guinea Fowl aren't yet ready to stop laying!

Unfortunately they don’t seem to realise that they actually have to sit on their eggs and keep them warm in order for them to hatch! "Waste not want not" as they say which is certainly the case here - rather than discarding these tasty treats, the Keepers at Seaview Wildlife knew exactly who would appreciate a light snack…..


First stop, Horatio our adorable Ferret…..although we're not really sure he knew what to do with it!


By comparison, our two Mischievous Meerkats knew exactly what to do, however, we made it more challenging for them by floating the egg in their water trough - requiring some crafty Meerkat manoeuvres to fish it out before being able to feast on it!


It looks like all their determination finally paid off as one lucky female finds a way in and laps up the delight!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Keeper for the Day- Al Wyman

Al Wyman who regularly visits the Park throughout the season was treated to being a ‘Keeper for the Day’ for the second time in two years!

Al was born with Retinopathy which means that he is completely blind and therefore loves to spend time here at the Park listening to all our tuneful Tropical birds, Ducks and Owls. Al was accompanied by his carer Tim Taylor, who also spends much of his time here throughout the season, who were together guided around the Park by Head Keeper Tara.

Given the chance to feed, touch and meet many of our feathery, furry, scaly friends (as well as spending time with the Keepers), it doesn’t look as though Al missed anyone out….

Al expressed no fear, only great enthusiasm to learn and experience as much as he could about the enchanting creatures surrounding him….. although, as a result of Al's boldness I think Tim came off with a few more cuts and bruises than he'd first anticipated!

Junior Wildlife Experience - Ananya Wright

The bookings for our increasingly popular ‘Junior Wildlife Experience’ are still coming in fast! This week it was eight year old Ananya Wright’s turn to enjoy a unique afternoon here at the Park.

Ananya, with her Mum and Dad (Dave and Sue), have visited the Park many times over the last few years, so this was an extra special treat for the young animal enthusiast!

Ananya particularly enjoyed spending time with our Penguins and it seems she made great friends with our cheeky Humboldt, Skipper (pictured second to the left)!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

4 x wonderful “Junior Wildlife Experiences” this week!

What a great week for our junior V.I.P.s! Four wonderful young people enjoying their own wildlife experiences over the past three days. A big thank you to you for choosing Seaview Wildlife for your holiday and birthday treats. We’ve enjoyed hosting these four young people in our new “Junior Wildlife Experience” scheme – and they’ve all said how much they’ve loved their up-close and hands-on time with all the animals!

ISABELLE HONNOR (aged 8) – Junior Wildlife Experience 5th September 2011

CHARLIE BLIGH (aged 9) – Junior Wildlife Experience on 6 September 2011

ELLA WHITTINGTON (aged 8) – Junior Wildlife Experience 6th September 2011 (Ella and her family donated Alfie and Willis - the two Miniature Pigs - to us in March of this year)

SOPHIE TURNER – Junior Wildlife Experience 7th September 2011