Monday, 28 November 2011

Battery Rescue Hens progress report – and some upsetting facts

Regular followers of our Blog may remember that on 5th November we rescued five hens through The British Hen Welfare Trust based in Chulmleigh, Devon. This charity rescues Battery Hens that have outlived their most productive months as egg-layers and are destined to be slaughtered.

What follows are some shocking facts about the life we have helped our hens escape from – please don’t read on if you’re likely to find the realities too upsetting ….

In their previous lives as factory/battery egg-laying birds our five hens were packed into a cage of only 45 x 50cm (slightly bigger than an average microwave oven) and weren’t allowed out at any time.

It is instinctive and natural behaviour for hens to move about almost non-stop during daylight hours – scratching in the soil and pecking around. When restricted in tiny cages hens need to somehow substitute this behaviour. The only source of interest left to them is the feathers and flesh of their cage mates which they frequently peck - sometimes to death. Imagine if we were forced to live in a phone box (with no natural light or fresh air) squashed in with four other unknown people - we might also become aggressive after a few weeks …. or days ….. This could be stopped by providing hens with a decent amount of space - but instead of this many farmers practice beak trimming – using a red-hot blade to remove part of their beaks when the birds are young. Some die from bleeding or shock.

Public protest has led to a small victory for hens. The EU agreed in 1999 to phase-out barren battery cages. From 1st of January 2012 the use of conventional cages will be prohibited. Only 'enriched' cages will be permitted. This sounds like an improvement - but tragically "enriched cages" still mean hens being crammed together in small spaces, with only a tiny amount more space than they have in the current caging system.

The five ‘girls’ that we adopted have settled in well so far. They’re staying undercover in the safety of our ‘Pets Corner’ area for the winter months – allowing them time to adjust to being free to roam. They still look scruffy, with lots of bald patches, but new feathers are beginning to grow through. They’re becoming more confident, ‘chatting’ to the Keepers and following them around, and of course tucking into their food with relish! I’ve included a couple of photos taken earlier today – with Fern and Charlotte doing the cuddling!

If you can offer three or more hens a good home (they like to be in a small flock) please consider contacting The British Hen Welfare Trust.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Revamp and Extension of Catering and Cafe facilities

Our Carpenter and Project Manager, Dean (of DTJ Decorations) is currently entrenched in a major winter project here at the Park. Whilst we’re closed to visitors during the winter months it’s an ideal time to embark on a variety of projects that would be too disruptive during our open season! One of the projects this year is a re-vamp and extension of our catering and cafe facilities. Dean has worked with us on-and-off off over a couple of years now - he competently turns his hand to a multitude of tasks and has become a trusted extension to our Team!

We’re looking forward not only to the new-look cafe but to sharing our exciting new menu ideas with our visitors too!

Letter and image of the Week!

“Please find attached a photo of Dippy in his house as promised on his facebook page!

Claire West Oct 11

We came to visit during the October half term and had a lovely time, despite the down pours.

My 8 year old son loved Dippy the best and was very happy when he posed for us in his house.

Hopefully see you again sometime soon.

Kind regards,

Claire West (and Elliot aged 8.)”

Many thanks to Claire and Elliott for taking the time to send this cute image of Dippy standing at the entrance to his little house (whilst it’s pouring with rain outside!) x

Keeper Fern’s update on male Meerkat

We wanted to let you all know how our male Meerkat is settling in, after what felt to me like a long three weeks of excitement and nervousness, our male Meerkat has been introduced to the the two girls with great success.

DSC_0376To make sure the introduction went as smoothly as possible we had a safety enclosure added within the girls enclosure. This meant that the male and the two females were able to get used to one another through the safety of this enclosure. At first the girls were intent on getting in to see who this intruder was, and of course the male was a little nervous, but within the first few days the girls had got over the excitement and confusion of this male Meerkat in their territory and all seemed to calm down.

Over the next two weeks we saw them interacting with each other. The girls would sit closely to his enclosure and he would join in on sentry duty all the while pawing at each other through the cage. After a promising two weeks it was time to swap them over. The two females were put into the males safety enclosure and he was left to his own devices within the girls home. This was so he was able to get used to his new home without the stress of the females watching his every move. The first day he seemed a little overwhelmed by this new space, and the girls a little miffed, but as the days went on it was clear that he was quite content. Within that week their behaviour seemed much the same as before they were swapped over.

Finally, the time had come to introduce the Meerkats to one another. Head keeper Tara and myself, although a little nervous, removed the division between the two enclosures. After a little while the male decided to make the first move and made a quick dash into the females enclosure. Myself and Tara remained on standby in case of any signs of aggression, but to our relief the Meerkats got on like a house on fire! Observing the Meerkats now you would’ve never known they were from separate gangs.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Dippy re-sized Father Xmas

Stuck for a gift idea this Christmas? Why not choose something completely different and unusual for a loved one?

Treat your family and friends to a fantastic Wildlife Encounter – a truly unique present! We have four fabulous V.I.P. promotions to choose from:

Included in the price will be a voucher for the experience of your choice to give as a present this Christmas.

Sorry, we can’t gift wrap lovely Dippy our famous Humboldt Penguin !!

(Image: Dippy the penguin)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Congratulations to the winners of this year's "Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition" at Seaview Wildlife!

Prizes are on their way! Thank you to all of you who entered - there were some really great images and it was a tough choice! Look out for our exciting 2012 photographic competition - we hope you'll enter again next year!" – and for those who didn’t enter – dust down your lenses and come and enjoy a wildlife photographic adventure here at the Park – we’re open 1st April – 4th November 2012!

1st Prize - Adult Category – Derric Nimmo – Leaf Cutting Ants

1st - Nimmo D - Leaf cutter ants 2011 resized

2nd Prize – Adult Category – Shashi Shinde – Peacock Displaying

2nd - Shinde S - Peacock (resized) 2011

1st Prize – Junior Category – Joe Turner (age 13) – Penguin Swimming

1st - Turner Joe - Penguin Swimming (resized)  2011

2nd Prize – Junior Category – Olivia Garner (age 15) – Moorhen on Nest

2nd - Garner Olivia - Moorhen on nest (resized)  2011

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


One morning last week Dr Ian Green, our eminent, longstanding veterinarian, spent some time with us here at the Park. The reason for the visit was three-fold:

  • This was one our scheduled bi-annual vet visits where health and husbandry topics are pro-actively discussed and reviewed.
  • To consult and treat specific cases.
  • To be a participant in one of our bi-annual Ethical Review Meetings.

It was a successful morning with all topics on the agenda being positively dealt with! The pro-active discussions related primarily to planning for the care of our livestock in the winter months ahead. This combined with a walk-around the Park so that Ian was able to observe and advise on various proposed Collection plans.

With regards the specific cases, Ian worked through a list of tasks with his usual speed and efficiency including:

  • Vaccinating Rabbits against Myxomatosis
  • Trimming Pigs’ trotters and injecting against worms and external parasites
  • Clearing compacted food matter that had collected under the tongue (due to weakened soft tissue in the mouth floor) of one of the Domestic Geese .

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Congratulations… to Troy Wood from Altrincham, Cheshire who has won our 2011 Great 40th Birthday Quiz Trail.

We run this educational, fun quiz each season whereby, visitors can collect the free quiz forms upon arrival at our entrance and then can spend their time looking around the Park hunting for the hidden clues and filling in the form as they find the answers! Then after completing the tie-breaker and the question: the best thing about my visit today was…….. the judges then have the hard task of sorting through thousands upon thousands of fantastic answers and having a tough decision upon choosing a winner.

Lucky Troy who is about to receive some fantastic prizes said in his winning tie-breaker…

“The best thing about my visit was feeding and stroking the wallabies. My animal encounters were absolutely amazing – I will remember them forever – thank you”.

We use this form also as a market research questionnaire so we can find out how our visitors really feel about our Park asking how they heard about us, is the first visit, would they return and if they have any suggestions or feedback. Visitor details are then stored on our database and used for our marketing activities. Troy’s family fed back with….

“We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. It was fantastic being able to interact with the animals and great opportunities to take wonderful photographs. The cleanliness of the Park was first class , all the enclosures were beautifully maintained with plenty of interesting animals. We would definitely recommend Seaview to others. It is fantastic for animal encounters”.

Thank you to Troy and his family for visiting the Park and for the wonderful comments – part of the prize is a family pass for four so we hope to welcome Troy and his family back again to the Park in the future.

Photographic Competition: Sorry to our entrants for the delay in judging. This is our Monday morning priority and winners in both Adult and Child categories will be announced this coming week so watch this space!!

Friday, 11 November 2011


Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Isle of Wight, One on One Wildlife Encounters
Seaview Wildlife Encounter logo, Seaview, Isle of Wight, SEAVIEW WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER, Penguin and Meerkat Close Encounters. Penguin & Meerkat Close ...

Another Google Alert just in…. Have a look at our ‘New for 2012’ One to One Wildlife Encounters with our Penguins and Meerkats – this would make a fantastic gift idea for a really unique christmas present!_DSC4846



Great news! As you may remember from our previous blog the introduction of our new male Meerkat has gone extremely well. After some switching around we opened up the inside pen and let them all meet each other without the wire and things couldn’t have gone more smoothly!

No aggression, no fighting just calm so we are very happy this introduction has gone so well. Let’s hope that once the dominant alpha female role has been established, the future plan will involve the patter of tiny meerkat paws and the formation of a new family group here at Seaview!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


We received a ‘Google Alert’ yesterday with a link for tripadvisor with some fantastic feedback from some of our visitors – check it out!

Great place to visit - Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Seaview Traveller ...
Seaview Wildlife Encounter: great place to visit - See traveler reviews, 3 candid photos, and great deals for Seaview, UK, at TripAdvisor.

Sunday, 6 November 2011



Yesterday we rescued five rather thin, tatty, sad looking battery hens. The current barren cage system is coming to an end on the 31st December and all hens that are in this cage system will have to go to slaughter at that time.

The British Hen Welfare Trust based in Chulmleigh, Devon have been looking for homes across the UK – can you help?

The girls had been driven through the night yesterday from Devon – the farmer had no money for feed and we were told the chickens had not eaten for a week. They are very thin so upon arrival at the Park last night the ‘girls’ were put into the safety of our Pets Corner area with a large bowl of grain and fresh water. They are still hiding this morning – I think it will take some time for them to realise now they have so much freedom here at the Park to wander around, pecking at the grass and enjoying the fresh air and winter sun.

We will worm, de-flea and feed them up and will show you hopefully transformation pictures in a few weeks time of these sweet, docile birds enjoying their new home and a life without bars!

Thursday, 3 November 2011



From the Hon Chairman of the Petersfield Link of CCLL

31st October, 2011

Dear Miss Adams,

It was extremely generous of you to admit our group of Chernobyl Children to your Park on 28th October.  It was a real thrill for them to see such a wonderful variety of different species, both birds and mammals.  They had of course seen pictures of these creatures back home, but never had the opportunity of getting up close to them.  Feeding them with corn was a particular delight and we have many photographs of them with big smiles on their faces doing just that.

They will be sent home with an album of photos to remind them of their time here and in particular their wonderful experience with your creatures.

We are very grateful to you and all your staff for being so helpful in what must be very difficult financial times for you.  Please pass on all our thanks to those involved.

With many thanks from all the children and from us in the Petersfield Link.

Yours sincerely,

D .B. Burstall, Hon Chairman

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Trick or Treat?!

Well it looks like our cheeky Asian Short Clawed Otters were given a tasty, if not scary looking, treat by our Keepers….

and the trick…how to get into it! 






It looks like Frank soon finds a way, he just needs to get past those juicy tomatoes….














…… then using his agile front paws he delves in to what else he can find!



Oops it looks like Dean has cottoned on…





and celebrates his glory with a bit of minced beef…yum!


Junior Wildlife Experience- Annabelle Dyer

Our last 2011 booking for a ‘Junior Wildlife Experience’ was enjoyed by ten year old Annabelle Taylor.

Annabelle had no idea what she was letting herself in for as the unique experience was left as a complete surprise until she was greeted at the entrance by Animal Keeper Charlotte. Judging by the great photos taken by Charlotte throughout the morning, it looks like the day was full of surprises for ‘wannabe’ Vet Annabelle!




We Shortly received a very kind letter from Annabelle’s Mother Lisa to express her thanks, especially to Charlotte, for a “wonderful wildlife experience” and said that Annabelle “really enjoyed her day and learnt so much”.

On behalf of all the Animal Care Team, thank you Lisa for taking the time to write to us, it’s great to get such positive feedback and we hope to welcome you and your family back to the Park next season!

If you would like to surprise someone special with one of our many ‘Unique 2012 Wildlife Experiences’ then don’t hesitate to contact us or check out our website for further details…… but remember book soon to avoid disappointment!!