Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bright feathers on a grey January day!

The weather may be cool, grey and damp but many of our feathered friends around the Park bring us colour and brightness all year round, even on the dullest of days! I’ve included just a few images to share with you:

Peach-faced Lovebirds DSC_0001Peach-faced Lovebirds DSC_1316

Above: Peach-Faced Lovebirds

Ring-Necked Parakeets DSC_0068Ring-Necked Parakeets DSC_0084

Above: Ring-Necked Parakeets

DSC_0026 Borris 6 Oct (resized)

Above: Moluccan Cockatoo

Cantelo, Samantha - Flamingo 2010 (resized) Neighbour, Rory - Lesser Flamingo 2010

Above left: Caribbean Flamingo Above right: Lesser Flamingo

D Nordell 2010 DSC6878 Young Peacock head (resized)

Above Left: Crowned Crane Above right: Peacock

Charlotte's first week volunteering at SANCCOB

My first week working at SANCCOB in Cape Town, South Africa, has been extremely challenging but also very interesting.

I spent my first few days getting to know the routine and organisation of the centre. I learnt how to prepare the fish formula, waters and darrows (for all the birds that need to be force fed). There is a very strict timing schedule for these that needs to be stuck too- so you have to learn fast!

I also spent a day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where we looked after the more seriously injured or ill birds. Many of these have extreme injurys, usually caused by predators such as the cape fur seal. Some however may have been affected by human influence e.g. fishing lines.

The amount of care and time required to treat each individual is amazing. The staff are extremely dedicated, and together with the volunteers and interns the centre runs very smoothly.

Some of the work at SANCCOB is very similar to what we do at the park with regards to care and cleaning. The penguins and other birds here however are wild, which means they are much more fiesty and willing to bite!

I have just started my second week and am really looking forward to getting some more experience in handling and feeding the birds.

Best wishes to everyone back in the UK!


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Harvest Mice produce litter in mid winter!

Four or five months ago we introduced a new female Harvest Mouse to our collection - a new bloodline to add genetic diversity to our existing stock. On arrival at the Park the newcomer was really tiny and obviously very young. We selected a male from our collection at random and placed the two of them in our breeding tank with high hopes for a successful pairing. After eight weeks there was no evidence of any intimacy and definitely no patter of baby mice feet - however as the new female was still quite small we decided to leave the pair together for a while longer and hoped that future warmer spring weather might be the catalyst for new life ……

Nature, of course, has its own plans and own perfect agenda …. so we were surprised but delighted to discover four new mid-winter babies! These tiny creatures really are very endearing …..

Baby Harvest Mouse (JB) DSC_0958

Some Interesting Harvest Mouse Facts:

Latin Name: Micromys minutus

Appearance: Britain and Europe’s smallest mammal - other than the Pygmy Shrew (Sorex minutus)

Baby Harvest Mouse showing prehensile tail DSC_0391 The Harvest Mouse is the only British animal to possess a prehensile tail – this is used as a fifth limb which it wraps around grass and twigs to help give it balance and grip.

Size: length: 50-70mm.

Weight: 4-6 grams

Lifespan: In the wild a maximum of 18 months. In captivity 2 years or more.

Distribution: They range across Europe (although not in most of Scandinavia) E. Russia, Korea, S. China and N. Korea. In Britain they are found from Yorkshire southwards and parts of Wales.

Habitat: Hedgerows, reed-beds, and other areas of tall, dense vegetation.

Harvest Mouse nest (internet)

Diet: In the wild they mainly eat a mixture of seeds, berries and insects; moss and roots are occasionally eaten.

Breeding: Two or three litters a year in the wild, between late May and October. Litters of 4-6 young. The only British mammal to build nests of woven grass well above ground.

Conservation: Harvest mice are listed as a BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) Species because they have become much scarcer in recent years (they are now extinct on the the Isle of Wight). Modern farming methods have caused a reduction in hedgerows, and combine harvesters leave harvest mice in grain fields with little chance of escape.

Predators: Weasels, stoats, foxes, cats, owls, hawks, crows and sometimes pheasants.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Stuck for a Unique Gift Idea? Why not treat a loved one to a fabulous Wildlife Encounter for 2012? Great for a birthday surprise, special treat or just because you fancy an exclusive wildlife getaway away from the stress and fast pace of modern life. Our stunning Park is filled to the brim with the most amazing array of feathered and furry friends!

Four fun, fact-finding, behind the scenes adventures for animal lovers - it couldn't get any more hands-on than this!

Due to popular demand this unique treat has been created for our younger guests. Little animal lovers can experience a behind the scenes ' mini zookeeper adventure' learning all about our fabulous wildlife and how to care for them.

Book early to avoid disappointment using our online form.
6 - 15 years (inclusive)
Choice of two sessions morning or afternoon: 10.15am to 12.15pm or 2.00pm to 4.00pm
7 days a week (excluding bank holidays).
Cost: £60 per child - maximum 3 children per session (children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult whose admission is free, any additional adults admitted at special voucher rate).
You may download information sheets and a written application form here (pdf format).
More information, including programme, on the Junior Wildlife Experience page on our website.

Bespoke packages exclusively designed around your own special occasion - couples or small groups of up to eight guests (single supplement available).
Whether a first date, honeymoon treat, anniversary celebration, birthday present, or any other special occasion - the Park is now able to offer you "The wildest place for your special date"!
Packages include entrance to the Park with complimentary specialist animal feed; your own personalised tour of the Park focussing on close-up time with your favourite animals, including Dippy our celebrity Penguin; a 5 star champagne lunch, and a CD of photographs to commemorate your special day.


From 10.15am
Special dates can only take place Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays each week (excluding bank holidays).
Cost: couples or small groups of up to eight guests at £75 per person or £95 for a single guest.
Use our online form here or download our information pack here (contains written form) (pdf format).
More information, including programme, can be found on the Wildest Date page on our website

Our Keeper For A Day scheme is the ultimate treat for any animal lover wanting to experience something truly unique - a really close encounter! As our guest we would like to give you a true feeling of what it is like to be a keeper at Seaview Wildlife! Learn all aspects of animal care with our experienced team and go behind the scenes to get fully involved with our amazing array of Wildlife at the Park.


From 10.30am - 4.00pm
Choose your day from April to October (excluding Bank Holidays).
Cost: £125 - Price includes lunch, a personalised certificate, a CD of photographs to commemorate your special day and a lifetime of memories!
Use our online form here or download our information pack here (contains written form) (pdf format).
More information can be found on the Be A Keeper For A Day page on our website.

Due to requests from our discerning guests we are very pleased to be able to offer personal one-on-one encounters with Penguins or Meerkats - or a Combo Encounter where you can spend close-up time with both our Penguins and Meerkats!
Dates –
Times -
Cost -
Booking -

Other -
Daily 1st April – 4 November 2012 (excluding Bank Holidays)
Choose either morning or afternoon. Meet at the Penguin Pool at 11.15am or 3.15pm.
£30 for one or £50 for two people (includes entry to the Park)
Advance booking essential - please contact 01983 612153 for remote payment by debit/credit card or send a cheque – see our online booking form.
Long trousers and practical, covered shoes essential - no shorts or flip flops/sandals.
Please go to our Close Encounters Page for much more information on our website.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Keeper Charlotte’s Blog from South Africa

Table Mountain SA

Hello from South Africa!

Last Monday I left chilly England behind, and after an eleven hour flight I finally arrived in Cape Town, South Africa. Once out of the airport I was greeted with some spectacular views of Table Mountain and of course, the sunshine!

My first two weeks here have been spent visiting one of my friends who I met when I went to university in Plymouth a few years ago. Knowing someone who lives here is definitely an advantage, as we have been able to visit some of the sights that are not quite as easily accessed by most tourists.

Cape Town really is an incredible city with a rich history and diverse culture. Offering everything from wine tasting and delicious open food markets to scenic drives along the coast and some amazing wildlife.

Within five minutes of arriving at one of the bays we discovered a family of cape fur seals splashing about in the harbour (less than two metres away from us), and large kelp gulls, cape cormorants and rare oyster catchers flying overhead.

Tomorrow we are going to visit Cape Point and the surrounding nature reserve and on Saturday we will be attempting to climb Table Mountain (weather and fitness depending!). See image above of Table Mountain.

Next week I start work at SANCCOB, which I’m really looking forward to.

Best wishes to everyone at the park and back in the UK.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Visit from Liam …. exploring future website wizardry with us ….


We met with Liam Thom this morning (from Island Webservices) to discuss some exciting new website opportunities …. stirring, stimulating stuff ….!

It was such a mild morning that after our meeting we decided to get out there for a quick tour of the Park.  I had my camera at the ready and took advantage of not having winter-wet or frost-bitten fingers!  Here are a few of the images:


We look forward to the website wizard weaving some magic with us …..


Sunday, 8 January 2012


Animal Keeper/Presenter vacancy at Seaview Wildlife for 2012 season (March - November)

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 March to November 2012.

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 is essential and a relevant qualification is preferred.

Working hours: 8am - 4.30/5.00pm

Closing Date: 31st January, 2012. Interviews to take place early February

Applicants should live locally as accommodation is not provided.
Please send a current CV and covering letter to Jules Brittan, General Manager, either by email to: info@seaviewwildlife.com or by post to Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Oakhill Road, Seaview, Isle Of Wight. PO34 5AP.

Labels: Animal Keeper vacancy at Seaview Wildlife Isle of Wight



Thursday, 5 January 2012

Male of the Mob a little poorly!

Our extra large stud wallaby has been a little ‘ off colour ‘ the past few days so we have brought him into a separate area and the Keepers are giving him lots of TLC.

He started to wobble a little on his legs so he is on a course of antibiotics – as you can see from the image above Fern is syringing the medicine into him and feeding him up on all of his favourite foods – special wallaby pellets and lots of hay with fresh fruit and vegetables ~ he is totally spoilt but so worth it.

He is so ‘laid back’ in true Aussie style (these marsupials originate from Australia and Tasmania) and he is a gentle giant, so passive and calm. He seems to like all the fuss and extra attention! Lets hope he is back on his feet soon and hopping around with the rest of the wallaby mob!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Rain or Shine for 2012?

First of all we would like to wish everyone a very happy new year from all the staff and furry, feathery and scaly residents here at the Park!

Although 2012 didn’t get off to a very welcoming sunny start, come rain or shine DSC_0001it’s business as usual for our Keepers as they get togged up to brave the wet and windy January weather and prepare to begin their daily routine of feeding and cleaning all the eagerly awaiting animals….including our adorable, if not a little wet, Alpacas!

DSC_0004 DSC_0005

As it turns out Augustus and Garnet don’t have to worry about getting their wool wet as due to their thick fibrous wool the rain doesn’t even penetrate to their skin!

Others however have got more important things on their mind, like making sure they have a comfy sty to keep dry in…….


Yes you guessed it, I’m talking about Alfie and Willis our Miniature Pigs!


The boys just love to busy themselves arranging the straw just how they like it in order to make a comfy bed……


Well at least it’s one less job for the Keepers to do!