Friday, 21 December 2012
Our Turkey’s at the Park are for life ~ not just for Christmas!!
I was looking at our three Turkeys today…. strutting around the Wallaby Paddock, chattering away to one another and thought if only they knew how lucky they are! Lots and lots of space, a nice shed bedded down with straw and food on tap! One of them has been a little ‘ fiesty’ lately chasing and biting the Keepers when we let them out in the mornings – we all laugh that they have a good spirit and look so funny running after us !
Some Turkey Facts:
Did you know the UK consumes around 10 million turkeys at Christmas.
Turkey's scientific name is Meleagris gallopava (mel-e-AY-gris-low-PAY-voe) from Latin gallus, meaning cock, and pavo, meaning chickenlike. Meleagris is the Roman name for guineafowl, suggestive of the early confusion of the turkey with guineafowl.
It is by no means clear how the turkey gained its name - one colourful theory claims a certain resemblance between the turkey stag's head and the helmet of a soldier of the Turkish Empire.
Another suggestion is from the wild turkey's call which sounds like turk-turk-turk. Another likely explanation is that in the 16th century, merchants trading along the seaboards of the Mediterranean were known as Turkes. They probably included the birds in their merchandise and they became known as turkey fowls.
One theory is that Columbus thought the new world was connected to India and that turkeys were really peacocks, so he named them "Tuka" which is peacock in the Tamil language of India.
In Spain, the turkey was often referred to as Indian fowl, an allusion which is repeated in the French ‘dindon’ formed with d'Inde which means ‘from India’.
Turkeys have been around for 10 million years - there are fossils to prove it.
The American Indians hunted wild turkey for its sweet, juicy meat as early as 1000AD. Turkey feathers were used to stabilise arrows and adorn ceremonial dress, and the spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used as projectiles on arrowheads.
Turkeys are believed to have first been brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshireman William Strickland - he acquired six birds from American Indian traders on his travels and sold them for tuppence each in Bristol.
Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy turkey, although Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas.
Enjoy your Turkeys this Christmas – Our three just don’t know how lucky they really are !!!!
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen to join the dynamic Animal Care Team at the Island’s largest, multi-award winning Wildlife Attraction. This is a seasonal position from January to the end of October, 2013.
The position involves all animal husbandry duties and giving daily talks to the public. The successful incumbent will be an exceptional ‘ people-person’ who has the ability to lead promotional events such as ‘ Keeper for a day ‘ , ‘ Junior Wildlife Experience ‘ , ‘ One-On-One Wildlife Encounters’ and ‘ Wildest Place for a Special Date ‘ .
A mature, friendly, outgoing person is required with a very hands-on approach. Applicants should be well spoken, team-orientated and physically fit, able to roll up their sleeves and willing to get involved!
This is a demanding, outdoor role, five days a week including weekends and bank holidays. Previous hands-on animal care experience and a relevant qualification is preferred.
Hours when Park is closed 9am – 2.00/2.30pm Hours when Park is open 8.30am – 4.30pm
Applicants should live locally with own transport arrangements as accommodation is not provided.
Closing date Friday 21st December, 2012. Please send current up to date CV and covering letter to Lorraine Adams, Director either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Oakhill Road, Seaview, Isle Of Wight. PO34 5AP.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Yesterday Matt from Specialist Wildlife Services came to the Park with his friend and volunteer Debra to collect four male wallabies from our productive Mob. We have a very successful breeding programme each year with these marsupials and over crowding in Wallaby Walkabout and in-breeding are the reasons behind the decision to move some of the surplus males on to new homes.
Many thanks to Matt who has a very interesting Job travelling around the UK and to Europe to rescue all sorts of creatures from Annie the Elephant to bears, wolves down to tiny hedgehogs! Our ‘boys’ have arrived safely at the Berkshire Agriculture College that is a Vet training college and hosts an animal management course. Our Wallabies are going to be seriously loved, pampered and very well looked after!
Our Chilean Flamingo Chick is doing so so well – you may remember some blogs back that we told you about our little orphaned Chilean Chick. He is doing really well – feeding by himself and is very vocal and responsive. We have all grown rather fond of him ( or her we are not sure yet!) His legs have become dry and Matt suggested yesterday that we stand him in water for a while each day. In the wild they would be in water for many hours dabbling and searching for food so the next best thing the Keepers could think of was standing the little flamingo in a bucket of warm water! He didn’t seem to mind one bit and just stood very still and quiet.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Our Californian King Snake has been a little ‘ off ‘ colour and not eaten for a few weeks so we took him up to the Vets to have him checked over. Nothing to worry about – just an infection in his tail. The vet administered antibiotics and the keepers are checking him everyday and putting sudacrem on the infected area to help the healing process. (Sudacrem is a miracle cream and we use it here on all sorts of birds and animals to help heal up wounds etc..) Some facts on Californian Kingsnakes
Native range: Found in the southern States from California to Arizona
Size: Aprox eight to ten inches long at birth, they average three to four feet in length as adults.
Handling: These snakes rarely attempt to bite! They need to be handled gently without pinching or squeezing.
Food: Fed a diet of mice mainly. Hatchlings usually feed readily on newborn ‘pinkie’ mice and should be fed about every five to seven days. Increase in food as the snake grows.
Reproduction: Although examining the tail can sometimes determine the sex, many adult snakes can only accurately sexed by ‘ probing ‘ Most specimens will require hibernation to breed, but some will readily reproduce under normal circumstances. Typical clutches consist of 10-15 eggs although some clutches of over 20 have been recorded. Incubation takes from 55 to 60 days at an average temp’ of 81F.
Sunday, 18 November 2012
This week saw the transfer of some of our Chilean Flamingos to their new home at Belfast Zoo. The Park has had another successful year of breeding with 11 chicks hatched this season so it was time to move on some of our flamingos that were bred in 2010/2011 to avoid over crowding to our enclosure and to swell flock numbers for Belfast to help aid their breeding programme.
Yesterday, Andrew Hope the Curator at Belfast Zoo Northern Ireland made the journey to the Isle Of Wight to collect sixteen Chilean flamingos. The round up went very smoothly and these exotic birds were put into specially designed flamingo boxes that kept the birds sealed in nice and tight and safe ready for their journey to Belfast. We look forward to hearing that they all arrived safely and are doing well in their new home.
Friday, 16 November 2012
With no visitors to feed the ducks during our closed winter period the frenzy each morning at the lower lake is a sight to behold! The noise alone is crazy with geese honking and chasing the keepers with the buckets of grain, ducks quacking and splashing in the water fighting each other for every morsel, the Park clowns the guinea fowl run crazily around jumping in the buckets to get at the food.
We have to feed quite a lot this time of year and when it gets a lot colder even more so! They always put a smile on the Keepers faces even when it is cold and grey.
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Congratulations to Linda Phipps (adult) and Craig Gregory (junior, aged 9) whose images have been selected as winners in their categories of our “Animals in Action” photographic competition 2012!
First prize for each is a family pass into the Park and a choice of a personal, V.I.P. Wildlife Encounter (Penguins or Meerkats) to be enjoyed during the 2013 season (23 March – 3 November inclusive) plus a surprise gift that will be forwarded by post.
Thank you to all those who participated; we received some lovely images. We invite you all to try again next year – and to those of you who didn’t, grab your cameras and give it a go in 2013!
Above: winning image, adult category 2012 – Chilean Flamingo with chick – Linda Phipps
Above: winning image, junior category 2012 – Pelican being fed – Craig Gregory (aged 9)
Monday, 5 November 2012
This weekend saw the last of this season’s Wildlife Encounters. We’re going to miss all our visitors and I’ll especially miss sharing the special close-up Wildlife Encounters with our VIP guests (adults and children alike) – thank you for choosing Seaview Wildlife as your special venue for an exclusive close encounter with Penguins, Meerkats and other exotic animals! The Animal Care Team are looking forward to welcoming you back again next year … don’t forget to book early for your 2013 Encounter to avoid disappointment!
India Shakespear and Isabella Green (pictured below), had a Junior Wildlife Experience with us on Saturday – celebrating Bella’s 12th birthday!
Jade Bennett (below) was a Keeper for a Day at the Park this weekend – this was her 12th birthday present. Jade said she particularly loved her close-up time with the Meerkats.
And last, but certainly not least, Zara Napier (below), who had her second Junior Wildlife Experience of 2012 with us this weekend. We hope to welcome you back again next year Zara!
Saturday, 3 November 2012
“Fun Day Out”
Reviewed 29 October 2012 NEW
Our two year old loved feeding the ducks and was amazed that she stroked a wallaby great day out worth every penny(25/10/12)
Visited October 2012
“Duck Crazy !!”
Reviewed 11 October 2012
Never seen so many ducks of all species walking around us in our lives. Lovely clean enclosures and parkland lots for children to marvell at and to feed the animals at there feeding times.
Meerkats, Alpacas, Willaby's, Penguins, Flamingos,Otters, Goats, Parrots and many many more it was a grand day out and it also has disable ammenaties so everyone is catered for.
Visited October 2012
Reviewed 15 October 2012
Very reasonably priced entry fee considering the size of the attraction and how much you can do. The penguin pool was definitely the best part. You can get very close to the penguins and you get to feed them too which results in quite a bit of splashing so be prepared to get a little bit damp. There are feeding displays at most of the enclosures during the day and some of them even have 2 feeding displays in case you miss the first one. As the animals are fed informative talks are given about them and it's a great opportunity to ask some questions. There is a bird house full of exotic birds that are free flying in a beautiful enclosure that is as close to a natural habitat as they can possibly make it and it is still a work in progress. There is a big pond full of large fish and some full of smaller fish too and they also have a reptile house in the same enclosure. There is a Wallaby Walkabout too where you walk right through their enclosure and you can stroke them and feed them. There are also 3 very cute Meerkats that are great fun to watch when feeding. There is definitely a lot to see and do for everyone. Highly recommended!
Visited October 2012
“Not to be missed”
Reviewed 8 October 2012
We loved the place , the penguins, flamingo's and the birds flying around you in the large greenhouse was great. But walking and feeding the wallabies was the highlight closely followed by feeding the ducks at 15.00 hours, never seen so many ducks in one place in my life. The meerkats are realy charming at feeding time. The cafe was very good and shop was also good. Not to be missed !!!!
Visited September 2012
Reviewed 7 October 2012
Probably the best value attraction on the Isle of Wight. Really helpful staff, and all of the animals seem really happy and well cared for. For my Finance and me the best part was being able to walk with the Wallabies and actually stroke them! The whole place is exciting for ALL ages. The diversity of animals is amazing, and the staff are really friendly and helpful. Altogether a GREAT day out.
The end of the season is upon us and all the team would just like to say a huge thank you to all the support our visitors have given us this season. Just a few fantastic final comments from our 2012 Visitors Book and an email that came in this morning …
“ A great visit! Hello, just wanted to say how delighted we were today (2nd November, 2012) with every aspect of our visit! We’ve just moved to the Island and will certainly be visiting you again in the Spring and telling others about you as well! “
Kind regards, Joanna
Thanks Joanna for taking the time to email with your positive feedback.
Quotes from our Visitors Book over the last two weeks of opening….
“ Better value than anything on the mainland – keep it up look forward to visiting next time. Staff so friendly thank you”
“ Fabulous place. Well done. Wish we lived nearer so we could come more often”
“ Brilliant, returned after 9/10 years still absolutely fab, the evolution of the Park but still retaining the friendly atmosphere is superb – Thank you”
“ Love it here so much. My young son of 4 nervous of animals but did very well today. Keep up the good work”
“ Most impressive. Thoroughly enjoyable”
“ Lovely day out, beautiful gardens and enclosures. Great value too!”
“ What an amazing and special place. To be able to get up close to some wonderful animals which are clearly loved and well looked after was fantastic. Thank you”
“ Beyond all expectations! Exceptional thank you very much to all the staff”
“ Twice in one week forgot camera the first time – best place on the Island”
Thursday, 1 November 2012
How proud are we that we have the most amazing open air, stunning location, beautiful landscapes for our amazing ducks – where the public delight in feeding them by hand in an amazing setting surrounded by water features, willows trees and views that most attractions would die for!!
Duck Town………… QUACK QUACK!
Yesterday (31st October) Rebecca Cole (below) was treated to a Junior Wildlife Experience by her Nan, Jenny who lives here on the Isle of Wight. Jenny doesn’t often have Rebecca come to stay so takes the opportunity to spoil her with a variety of treats and adventures when they’re together.
Today we welcomed Madeline and Rosina Reed (below) back to the Park. This time last year these two sisters had their first Junior Wildlife Experience and they returned for a new experience this year – it was lovely to see them again – and they both seemed to enjoy their experience just as much the second time – we made sure there were a couple of different close-up encounters this time round!
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Happy Halloween from all the Team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter! Are you planning to go “trick & treating”? Or do you have some other delightfully devillish idea up your witch’s sleeve …? Whatever your plans, we wish you a ghoulishly fun day and evening ahead!
Holly Hinds (pictured below) has been with us for the last two days in a special extended “Keeper for two days” experience. We were extremely pleased to welcome Holly back again as a Keeper for a Day – with this being her third experience there’s no doubt that she’s really getting to know some of the animals and their husbandry routines. Today Holly has helped out with enrichment activities such as putting vegetables and straw into small boxes for the pigs to forage in as well as helping with pumpkin-filled treats for the Otters.
Thomas and Chloe Boniface (below) were treated to a Junior Wildlife Experience by their Grandparents yesterday. They’re here on the Island from their home near Bath and this Wildlife Experience was a complete surprise for them. They said they really enjoyed every minute and are hoping for a repeat treat next year!
Monday, 29 October 2012
Over the weekend, in the run up to Halloween, the Keepers cut out a pumpkin and filled it with treats. The first to have a go were the Meerkats and then later the Otters – great enrichment and a fun time for all!
The Park will be closing for the winter months this coming Sunday 4th November. As always we’ll really miss the company of all our guests – and the animals will miss you too – it’s a big adjustment for everyone!
Here are a selection of some of our most recent Wildlife Encounter guest photos taken over the last few days:
Above: Carole Cooper was Keeper for a Day with us on Friday 26th October. Carole said she really enjoyed the experience and was amazed how busy a Keeper’s job is!
Above: Millie and Jack were “Keepers for a Day” on Saturday 27th October. On holiday from the mainland, Millie and Jack particularly enjoyed their time with the Wallabies and the fun, frenzied feeding of the ducks down at the Lower Lake in the late afternoon!
Above: Joanna Day from Bristol is over on the Island for a short break and booked to have a Penguin Encounter with Dippy and his pals earlier today (29th October) – fortunately the showers stopped just in time!