Thursday, 31 May 2012
Q.E.II x 60 throne years = PPenguin PParty time !!!!
A message from the Team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter to all our friends and Blog-followers:
“Wishing you happy Royal festivities and fun times over the Jubilee Weekend and the half term week of school holidays. We’d love to see as many of you as possible here at the Park to join in our wildlife events and hands-on wildlife activities.
“Where else on the Island can you book personal hands-on time with Penguins and Meerkats? Where else are you surrounded by Ducks, Geese, Swans and Guinea Fowl that eat from your hand whilst you stroll in stunning parkland overlooking the Solent?
“Seaview Wildlife Encounter is proud to be leading the way with interactive wildlife encounters in the South of England and on the Isle of Wight. Come and enjoy a great value, quality day out where there’s something special for all the family. See you soon!”
We’re extremely proud to be able to share the following recent comments written into our “Visitors Book” during the past few days:
“A truly fabulous day out, animals very well looked after, everywhere well kept and clean. Food well presented and very good value for money. Staff excellent.” Mr & Mrs Dibley, Staffordshire.
“We’ve visited many Animal Attraction Sites and this has got to be one of the best! My young family have had a brilliant time feeding so many animals. No-where provides so much hands-on experience. You show the rest how to do it, and do it well! Fantastic food too!” M. Fuller, Hertfordshire.
“Always a lovely visit, been coming here for over 20 years.” Mrs S. Fowler, Basildon, Essex.
“So Love coming here – only place on the Island we visit EVERY year – wonderful photos to take – friendly animals and staff x”
“Fantastic day, very educational. Kids loved it. Would return again.” Bowen Morris Family, Worcestershire.
“Best place on Isle of Wight. Wonderful day out.” Angela, Aaron and Amelia.
“Excellent day, just the right amount to see, especially with a little one. The hands-on elements really made it a memorable day, loved it!” Graham Family, South Yorkshire.
“A lovely place where the animals are content and you can be more hands-on with them – and lovely and clean – well done!” Maz & Nick, Bournemouth.
“Best day out yet in Isle of Wight. Loved all the ducklings and parrots. Can’t believe how many ducklings and eggs there were.” Becky and Paul, Beckenham, Kent.
We have dozens of wild Barnacle Geese that fly in to nest and raise their young at Seaview Wildlife Encounter each year. A few weeks ago a pair of Barnacles were seen usurping a Mallard female from her nest, apparently because she was nesting in the exact spot that they had chosen last year. Unfortunately the Mallard had already laid at least one egg because the ‘Gosling’ that appeared from underneath the mother Goose this morning wasn’t a Gosling but a Duckling! The new hatchling is the first of the ‘Barnacle brood’ to hatch and has immediately imprinted on the female Barnacle Goose. We’ll have to wait and see if mother Goose will wait for the rest of her brood to hatch and when they do, what assortment of shapes and sizes she will raise as her own!
I captured these images just a short while ago of the ‘surrogate Mother’ Barnacle Goose with her newly hatched Mallard Duckling:
Images: Jules Brittan, General Manager, Seaview Wildlife Encounter
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Regular readers of our Blog might remember a Blog from a couple of weeks ago sharing the hatching of three Mute Swan Cygnets. Unfortunately two didn’t survive but the last one is looking strong and seems to be thriving under the dedicated attention and protection of the parent Swans. The photo below is of the little‘un down at the Lower Lake at Seaview Wildlife Encounter earlier today:
Dear everyone at Seaview,We visited the park on Weds 16th May for a Penguin encounter. Just wanted to thank you very very much for a brilliant day! The encounter for the two of us was a Christmas present so we had been counting down the days to our visit for some time!
We both thoroughly enjoyed our day meeting Dippy and his friends. Please also pass a special thank you to Jules and Fern for looking after us so well. We learnt so much about the penguins and had a superb time feeding and interacting with them all. We were able to relive our day all over again when we returned home at the weekend & got to look through the brilliant CD of photos of our time.
We were also really impressed with the rest of the park and had a lot of fun meeting all the other animals you look after. We will definitely be recommending a visit to all our friends and family.
We were both very sad to read about the passing of Humphrey last week. However we feel honoured to have had the privilege to meet and feed him when we visited & we could see how well loved and looked after he was by keepers and visitors alikeThank you again for a brilliant day outLouise and Laura
We have a pair of beautiful Alexandrine Parakeets here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. The female, Penny, is quite a character – she was donated to us some years ago and to-date hasn’t successfully raised any chicks. However, this year she and her partner of the last four years, Peter, have presented us with their first chick! This morning the youngster fledged from the nest for the first time! By the time I got there with my camera the chick was making its way up the side of the aviary – and then proceeded to hang on in a very un-photogenic pose – however I’ve included this first first image below – along with one of of the proud parents.
Below left: the newly fledged Alexandrine Parakeet on its first outing from the nest this morning!
Below right: the proud parents, Penny (left) and Peter (right).
A few breeding facts:
Breeding season for Alexandrine’s in the wild is usually between November and April. Average clutch size is 2–4 eggs. The average incubation period is 28 days and the chicks fledge around seven weeks of age. They are reared for about three weeks and are typically weaned between 12 to 16 weeks of age. Although listed as being of ‘least concern’ on the IUCN red list, these birds are critically endangered in Pakistan, especially in Punjab province. This is mostly due to loss of habitat – including the cutting of old tress and excessive poaching of their new born chicks. Although it is officially banned in Pakistan to sell these Parrots they can be found being sold openly in the markets of Lahore.There has been a drastic decline in this species due to high demands from the pet trade. Although it is supposedly illegal to trade in Alexandrine Parakeets in India these birds are apparently sold in broad daylight in urban bird markets, suggesting that the Indian government is not allocating sufficient resources in protecting this species or policing their illegal trade.
LAUNCH OF “LOVE YOUR ZOO” AND “LOVE YOUR WILDLIFE PARK”:
SEAVIEW WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER, ISLE OF WIGHT
BRITAIN has plenty to celebrate this year with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, but why not go wild and take advantage of one of the best attractions your country has to offer – Seaview Wildlife Encounter.
The animals at Seaview Wildlife Encounter are inviting you to show them just how much they mean to you by visiting them during the second ever Love Your Wildlife Park campaign.
The campaign which was launched last year by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), will run from Saturday, May 26 to Sunday, June 10.
Its aim is to encourage people to visit their local BIAZA zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres and not only have a fun day out, but also learn just how much they do for conservation, education and research.
Seaview Wildlife Encounter have organised a “Love Your Zoo” Wildlife Quiz Trail especially for this celebratory week. This is in addition to the Park’s “V.I.P. Wildlife Encounters” – the closest, hands-on animal experiences on the Isle of Wight – see website for details: http://www.seaviewwildlife.com/summary/wildlife_encounters (pre-booking essential).
Lorraine Adams, Director of Seaview Wildlife Encounter, said: “Love Your Wildlife Park” is a great chance to show our visitors a great day out while educating them about the important work we do. We hope as many people as possible will help support the campaign by visiting us.”
More than 75 zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres across the UK and Ireland will be taking part and are planning a week of fun activities from showing off new exhibits, to animal encounters, trails and craft activities.
For more information or to find out about special promotional offers on during the Love Your Zoo campaign visit www.loveyourzoo.co.uk.
BIAZA, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
BIAZA is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK. With 100 members, its role is to develop and spread best practice within the UK and international zoo community, combining lobbying and campaigning with the development of policy in collaboration with the government and scientific organisations. BIAZA members support around 700 projects every year by providing financial support in excess of £10 million and by supplying skills, staff and equipment for conservation programmes worldwide.www.biaza.org.uk charity number: 248553
10 Reasons Why You Should Love Your (BIAZA) Zoo/Aquarium/Wildlife Park
1. More than 25 million people visit BIAZA’s member organisations every year – they are a great day out!
2. More than 1,200,000 people come to BIAZA member organisations each year on an organised educational visit – visiting your local zoo is a fun way to learn about animals!
3. BIAZA members participate in about 500 research projects every year, many of these measuring behaviour with the aim of improving animal welfare – you are helping us learn about helping wildlife
4. BIAZA members participate in about 700 conservation projects every year
5. They contribute about £10m a year to field projects
6. BIAZA members contribute about £645m to the national economy
7. They create about 11,007 jobs
8. By visiting zoos you are helping to safeguard the future of vulnerable, threatened and endangered species
9. You can visit more than 2,000 different species of animal!
10. By visiting your local zoo or aquarium you are doing a good thing by taking the time to appreciate our wildlife and hopefully being inspired to make a difference.
Monday, 28 May 2012
Over the past few days our visitors have enjoyed the warm, sunny weather with us here on the Isle of Wight! Those guests who booked One-on-One Wildlife Encounters with us all said how much they’d enjoyed their special experiences – made all the more magical by the extra dose of blue skies and sunshine!
Below is Win Isaacson whose husband, Neville, treated her to a surprise Penguin Encounter for her birthday.
Below are Jessica Boulay and Eleanor Worley from Surrey who had a great time with Dippy and his pals on Saturday.
Junior Wildlife Experience, James Cobb (aged nearly 10, pictured below) could hardly contain his enthusiasm – he loved all the animals so much that my colleague, Grace, could hardly get him to sit still long enough to capture photos! James said he was extremely lucky to see a duckling that had just hatched and added that his favourite animals are the Wallabies.
Rachel Cundall (below) said of her Penguin Encounter “It was amazing; I would definitely do it again!”. Fern, who was Rachel’s guide and photographer during her Encounter said that Dippy gave Rachel one of his proper Penguin cuddles (normally reserved for the Keepers!)
Debra Percy’s birthday present from her friend Michelle Liddelow was a Penguin Encounter this morning. These two ladies (pictured below) had a wonderful time; they thoroughly enjoyed their Encounter and the glorious weather!
Thank you to all our V.I.P. Guests for choosing a one-on-one Wildlife Experience with us here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter!
Sunday, 27 May 2012
David Nordell is a regular visitor to Seaview Wildlife and always takes amazing images of our collection of birds and animals.
Thank you David for taking the time to send in this fantastic image of our Meerkats - very much appreciated.
Friday, 25 May 2012
Thursday, 24 May 2012
Alison Nolan was treated to a Penguin Encounter yesterday by her friend Linda Heath, as a belated birthday present. What fantastic weather it was to be out in the Park and up close with the animals! Ali is a real animal lover who was relaxed and confident with the Penguins so she was able to really enjoy her V.I.P. Wildlife Experience.
Above left: Ali enjoying a cuddle with Dippy and above right with Danielle.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
We are currently raising and caring for some really gorgeous Goslings. They’re growing so quickly that we decided to seize the moment and snap a few shots before their fuzzy wuzziness becomes all grown up sleek plumage!
The three Keepers on duty yesterday giggling with the Goslings – above, from left – Charlotte Goswell, Grace Turner and Jake Cousins (the Goslings are named after members of the Animal Care Team but I’m not sure which one is which!!)
In balance with all the abundance of new life we’ve been celebrating this spring comes the unfortunate inevitability of some lives coming to an end.
Friends and regular followers of our Humboldt Penguins here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter will probably know a key character called Humphrey. Humphrey hatched three years ago with a hunched back – a curvature of the spine. Although not as agile as the other Penguins on land, Humphrey was a tremendous swimmer who really came into his own in the water. Right from the start Humphrey asserted himself as more than able to cope, despite his disability.
We had been told that Penguins with this condition are not likely to have a long lifespan – due to a variety of health issues and physical complications that they are prone to. During his life, Humphrey received regular check ups from our vet who has treated Humphrey each year for a recurring respiratory disorder. Although his laboured breathing never cleared entirely, we were able to keep at bay, and our vet was confident that Humphrey was not in any pain. That was until a few weeks ago when Humphrey’s health started to deteriorate further. Over the last few days, although still as brilliant in the pool as ever, Humphrey’s breathing became uncomfortably laboured. The difficult decision was taken yesterday and Humphrey was put to sleep.
Being part of a wildlife park is not about keeping animals alive for our sake, or for the pleasure of our visitors; it’s about giving our animals the very best life they can possibly have whilst under our care. Today is sad for all of us and Humphrey will be greatly missed. However his spirit and memory will live on forever in our pool.
“ We love it here! No place like it anywhere else on earth!”
“ Had a lovely afternoon, been before and it gets better and better”
“ This place improves with every visit. Well done to all concerned”
“ Amazing. Wildlife in action & you get to feed the penguins!”
“ I’m back! Every time I come to the Island I have to visit – Love it! Thank you”
“ A simply superb day! Would highly recommend. Penguin Encounter was amazing – Thank you”
“Superb place, Staff & attraction fantastic! Can’t wait to come back”
Monday, 21 May 2012
Regular visitors to the Park will know that we have a couple of pairs of wild mute swans who choose to spend most of the year here with us at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. They can usually be seen down at our ‘Lower Lake’ where they add grace and serenity to this beautiful stretch of water. The lake has fountains at each end and is edged on one side by “Willow Walk” where visitors can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy a stroll in amongst nature’s peace and tranquillity.
This weekend one of our female swans hatched out three gorgeous cygnets. Despite the famous fairy tale these youngsters aren’t ugly at all! They’re covered in soft grey fuzzy down and have very cute faces! I captured a couple of images at lunchtime today to share with the swan-lovers out there that might just be drawn to read this. For our friends, old and new, who can spare a couple of hours this coming Jubilee Week – why not come and see the cygnets and enjoy a special day of close contact with all our birds and animals?
No ugly ducklings here – just three perfect cygnets with their beautiful, proud mother
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
The weather was ideal for two perfect Penguin Encounters today!
Laura and Louise from Bath thought so too – they thoroughly enjoyed their close-up time with our Humboldt Penguin colony this morning (images below):
And, on the spur of the moment, this afternoon, Ian Cramp from Ryde (below), was treated to a surprise birthday present! Ian said he has always wanted to feed and hold a Penguin. Having had a private feeding session with the Penguins as well as a special moment with Dippy on his lap Ian said that this was “the experience of a lifetime”.
These images, taken this yesterday, are of the last Penguin chick (aged 11 days) due to leave the Isle of Wight this evening to join the other hatchlings at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire. Sixteen chicks were bred at Seaview Wildlife Encounter this spring especially for the new Humboldt Penguin exhibit at Longleat - due to open later this year. The chicks will be hand-reared over the next 12-14 weeks at which time they’ll be fully grown and ready to feed independently. Director, Lorraine Adams, said: “It is a pleasure to have been selected to breed and supply our Humboldt Penguin chicks to such a prestigious and well-known Safari Park”.
Nicholas Phillips (above), from Southampton, was treated to a Meerkat Encounter for his 60th birthday on Sunday. Nicholas was very complimentary about Seaview Wildlife Encounter and his whole experience here. He said he and his family had really enjoyed themselves and that the Park was a really lovely day out. He remarked on how well kept the Park is, how well-cared-for the animals are, and how friendly the staff are. Nicholas said he planned to email or post through a letter (a testimonial) – so thank you to Nicholas for your very positive feedback!
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
This weekend we were extremely pleased to welcome a number of different guests to experience our unique V.I.P. Wildlife Encounters. The sunny weather was a definite bonus!
Patrick Tierney (below), from London, joined us as a Keeper for a Day on Saturday and said he’d had a really great time and that the experience was a great break from the big city!
Alex Harris (below) was treated to a Junior Wildlife Experience this weekend. It was his 8th birthday present and he said “it was the best day ever!” Alex loved all the close-up time with the animals – especially feeding the Meerkats!
Adam Coutts from Portsmouth (below) was celebrating his 10th birthday and especially loved the Wallabies – Happy birthday Adam!
Nicola and Paul (below) from Salisbury were celebrating their wedding anniversary (en route to Florida!) In response to their Meerkat Encounter they were heard saying: “what an experience!”. We all wish them a great trip!
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Spring is the season of new births – this time it marks the arrival of a baby member of the Animal Care Team! Tara (our Headkeeper) and her partner Dan, popped in this morning with their gorgeous new arrival, Amelie-Rose, who was born 26th April! All of us here at the Park gathered enthusiastically around the proud parents and their perfect little bundle. Lots of ooohs and aaaahs ensued as Amelie was admired, cuddled and photographed!
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
We were very pleased to receive this wonderful feedback from Maria McGrath who joined us for a Combo Encounter just a few days ago. Thank you Maria - we look forward to welcoming you back soon – and in the meantime hope you’ll keep in touch with Dippy via Facebook!
“Hello to all
On Friday 4th May I came along to Seaview Wildlife Park for my Meerkat and Penguin encounters and wanted to write and say thank you for such a fabulous day.
I hadn't quite appreciated how close I was going to get to the animals or how much fun it would be, as you can see from the pictures that Charlotte took I am wearing such a big smile on most. It was such an amazing experience to get so close to these animals and get to know them a little bit better.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to Charlotte who made both encounters very special for me and to finish the day, I was allowed a once in the lifetime opportunity to hold a very young penguin chick. What a privilege it was and I hope to follow the little one's development when he arrives at Longleat.
Finally, I got my chance to meet Dippy, my facebook friend......and what a extra special little penguin he is.
Thank you all again at Seaview for the opportunity to book such an experience.
Warm wishes to all at Seaview.