Friday, 29 June 2012

Fabulous quotes from our Visitors Book

Had a super day.  this is a beautiful inspiring place.  Enjoyed visit very muchDSC_0492 - wonderful will visit again”
  Absolutely brilliant best animal place we have ever been too”
  Been coming here since first came to the IOW 20 years ago – this is our favourite place.  A calm, duck filled oasis and so clean!  Our holiday is not complete without a visit”
  Came here 40 years ago and still fantastic”
  Fantastic place will never forget it and will come again.  Love this place it is so peaceful”.
  Extremely impressed.  Beautiful park and so many different animals to see!  Will be back, hopefully when the weather is better!”
  Nice to find somewhere better than the brochure – excellent the whole family have loved the visit thank you and staff great too!”
  On our third visit love it all – well done”
  What a lovely place, lovely animals and set out beautifully”
  This really is the best attraction on the Island and I have to say that it just gets better and better.  The best value for money ever.  Well done and keep up the good work”

Thursday, 28 June 2012


I wanted to drop all those at the wildlife centre a quick line to say how much we enjoyed the Penguin Encounter on Monday, 25 June.
I know Debbie was particularly nervous (and I don't think it was about the penguins, more the crowds) and her fears were allayed once it was explained that the session would take place after the public had moved on.
We hoped that we would get a souvenir photo and were more than surprised when a range of photos were taken and supplied (most of which have been pasted on Debbies Facebook page)
I think once Debbie got involved, she relaxed and certainly enjoyed the experience! Another nice touch was the allowance made for us, to also stroke Dippy and to feel involved.
Every year I try to come up with random christmas presents and this was a definite hit! That said, we only visited the centre last year and were already of the view of how good it was, so we will definitely be back.
All the best for the future of the centre
Kind regards
Wiggy and Debbie

New life in abundance at Seaview Wildlife Encounter!

Spring leads into summer … and new life at the Park is still in abundance!  We have lots of youngsters at this time of year – the second brood of chicks are hatching under many of our ducks and wildfowl.  
Above left: A heap of Barnacle Goslings (Branta leucopsis).  Above right: two parent birds guarding their ground nest on the open, central area of the Park.

Above: Three rather gorgeous young Shelduck ducklings (Tadorna tadorna) are being raised by the Keeper Team until they’re old enough to be released onto one of the Park’s lakes.


My husband and I, along with my daughter and her partner, paid a visit to you on Wednesday of this week. Whilst we were with you my daughter and her partner had an encounter with the penguins, shortly followed by my husband and I who met your meerkats. I felt I had to write to say how impressed we were with our whole day. Jake, if I remember his name correctly, the keeper who looked after us on our encounters, was extremely knowlegable and took some fantastic photo's of us all and we were delighted with the discs that we were given to take home so please pass our grateful thanks onto him. My daughter, who has two parrots of her own, fell in love with all your birds, especially the cockatoos, macaws and the greys. Your grounds are beautiful and all the birds looked very happy and I'm sure we will pay another visit to you on any future visits to the Island.
Christine, Neale, Emily and Spike

Hi Lorraine
Just to say a massive thank you for making our honeymoon brilliant is was really interesting and for Michelle was the thing she had waiting to do since she was 3 years old
so thank you again for letting us do the penguin enclosure it really made our honeymoon and we have walked away with some amazing memories
Glen & Michelle Clougher

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Nature's artistic brush strokes of beauty

We often share images of the Chilean Flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) with our blog readers – mainly because they breed so successfully here at the Park.  It’s fascinating to watch their cycle of life, from nest building, egg laying, hatching and rearing of their chicks – to the gradual changing colours of their magnificent plumage as they mature.
Our our other two species of Flamingos - Caribbean and Lesser – are equally beautiful. I captured a couple of images of both species earlier this afternoon:

The Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) – with eyes that look like magical kaleidoscopes!  This is the smallest of the world’s six species of Flamingo, found in salty lakes and lagoons of southern Africa where it feeds mainly only blue and green algae.  The Lesser is listed with IUCN as near threatened.  Although not widespread some colonies contain over 1 million birds - these are among the largest bird aggregations in the world.           

The Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), also known as the Rosy Flamingo, is found in the Caribbean, Yucatan Peninsula and Galapagos Islands.  It has the brightest plumage of all the Flamingo species.  The characteristic pink colouring is caused by beta carotene in their diet - they feed on insects, worms, vegetation and algae.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Today’s Meerkat Encounters

We had two very happy V.I.P. guests today - June Cook from Ryde (this morning) and Lois Adams from the mainland (this afternoon) – both had really great Meerkat Encounters here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter! 

June Cook (above) ended up having her nose kissed by one of the Meerkats!  What a birthday treat for the lady from Ryde!

Eight year old Lois Adams (above) was treated to a Meerkat encounter by her Dad, Phil, who said it was just because Lois loves Meerkats so much!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Meerkat Madness and Penguin Palavers!

We’ve had two lovely sunny days in a row here on the Isle of Wight – ideal weather for a special day out enjoying close up wildlife encounters.

Jodie Keeler (above) from Fowey in Cornwall thoroughly enjoyed her Meerkat Encounter yesterday whilst her partner and baby looked on:

Debbie Morris (above) was treated to a Penguin Encounter earlier today. Debbie’s partner and two friends had put aside today to enjoy in the sunshine at the Park after spending the weekend at the Isle of Wight Music Festival – they said they’d had a wonderful time and are already planning to return for another Wildlife Encounter with us soon!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Latest Encounters

On the 20th we had the pleasure of having a family join us to take part in a couple of encounters.
First up were Emily and Spike, to help feed our Humboldts on their Penguin Experience in the lovely Isle of Wight sunshine.
Next stop was the Meerkats, so Christine and Neale could get hands on with the 3 un-named characters.
And after polishing off the mealworms at lightening speed, they had an extra treat in the form of 3 chicken eggs.
On the 21st Kate visited the park for her Junior Wildlife Experience, And although she was a little unsure of a couple of the animals at first, she soon overcame her uncertainty and was feeding everything like a pro in no time.

Thanks to everyone who has joined us recently, and we hope to see you all again soon.


For a number of years we have successfully bred our Chilean Flamingo’s, and 2012 looks to be no exception. As you can see from the picture we have at least 7 eggs already, and they haven't finished yet!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Recent Wildlife Encounters

On Monday 18th June, brother and sister Keiran And Shauna enjoyed a Keeper for a day experience. An extra special day to add to their holiday on the island.

Monday, 18 June 2012


We were sent two lovely letters this week from guests visiting the Park and thought we would share these with you. The first from Naomi who is 10 years old (11 in August)

"  Message for the Owner - Today Fathers day I went to the Seaview Wildlife Enclosure and I really enjoyed it - so did my dad!  It's now my favourite place on the Island!  I loved learning all about the animals and feeding them.  I've taken a picture of almost every animal and feeding them ( I hope to enter this years competition) and love every one of them!  I can't pick a favourite!  All I wanted to say was that I really enjoyed myself and I hope to come again.  I'm so glad that you opened the Wildlife Enclosure!

Second Letter from Marie Lorimer who enjoyed a Keeper for a Day Experience with us recently

Dear Fern, Jake and Becky,

I'm back in Yorkshire now and looking at the photos of a very memorable day.  Thanks for making me so welcome and ensuring I had a wonderful time.  I can't choose which I enjoyed the most as I loved the lot even the cockroaches (never thought i'd say that) and it was great to see how you all enjoy your work and the company of animals. A very happy day - thanks again best wishes Marie" 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

We say farewell to Work Experience Clare!

This month Clare Mennie joined us for two very busy weeks of work experience. It was a real pleasure working with Clare, and all the staff wish Clare the very best for the future and thank her for all her hard work.
Clare said the two weeks had gone so quickly, and was sad to leave the team and all the animals. But hopefully she will be back to visit soon.

Recent Animal Encounters

Lauren Carson Joined us on Saturday 16th of June for a Meerkat Encounter.
This was a Christmas present for Lauren, who said she couldn’t believe that she going to get to meet the Meerkats! And really enjoyed the whole thing.

On the Sunday 17th of June we were joined by Dean and Kelly from Southampton for a Penguin Encounter.
This was a birthday present to Kelly from Dean. They both said they had a really great time!
We were also joined by Zoe Paulet, who was spending her day with us as a special Birthday present.
Zoe’s favourite animals are meerkats, and after spending some time in their enclosure it was clear that the meerkats enjoyed Zoe’s company too.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Our most recent encounters at the park.

On Wednesday 13th of June we had a special couple in for their penguin encounter. Michelle and Glen visited us as part of their honeymoon celebrations. Michelle was particularly excited about meeting the penguins, she mentioned that she has been very interested in them for many years.
After the encounter she told us that “It was everything she had hoped for and more!”

On the same day we were also joined by Marie for her Keeper For A Day experience. All the keepers enjoyed Maries company and help, and hoped she had wonderful day at the park.

Alpaca Shearing Time 2012!

Augustus (2) Jan 11June is the time of year when our Alpacas are due for their annual shearing!
Once again we were joined by experienced Camelid shearer Bob, who travels down from Cumbria each year to shear our two boys (along with other Alpacas and Llamas on the Isle of Wight!).
It is very important that the alpacas are sheared every year as it allows them to absorb sunlight (through their skin), which helps to boost their vitamin D levels.
If their ‘for-locks’ are left untrimmed for too long (resulting in insufficient natural sunlight into their eyes) and their fleece is left un-sheared (blocking sunlight from their bodies) this can cause vitamin deficiencies and often results in diseases such as rickets.
The preferred method for shearing, is to first lay the animals on their side and restrain their   legs with a tether at each end. This protects both the shearer and the Alpaca from being accidentally cut.
As would be the case for sheep, Alpaca shearing requires sharp hand clippers and specialist electric shears.
Immediately after shearing, the fleece is separated into “the blanket” (the best quality part of the fleece that can be used for weaving), and other parts of the fleece (no good for weaving but excellent nesting material for various birds and animals here at the Park!).

As you can see from the photos there was a lot of interest from the public during the shearing! Luckily, Animal Keepers Jake and Becci were on hand to help Bob throughout the process.

Alpaca fleece is highly sought after by hand-crafters and commercial markets alike because it is one of the finest natural fibres. The fleece can be made into any product that we would normally associate with wool – yet the end-product will be warmer, lighter, and softer. Many people who cannot wear wool because it is too ‘prickly’ can wear Alpaca fleece.
Another interesting fact is that apparently Alpaca fleece doesn’t contain lanolin, so people it can be work by those who are allergic to the lanolin in wool. For people who are allergic to commercial dyes or have a preference for completely natural fibres Alpaca fleece is almost undoubtedly the answer – because it comes in over 20 natural colour variations!

And here we are with the finished product……

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you very much for the Meerkat encounter that my daughter, Lauren Hornby, went on last week – she had an absolutely fantastic time and we now have two other little girls who are desperate to do the same thing once they are old enough.
I also wanted to say a special thank you to Becky who really made Lauren feel at ease and helped her to enjoy a fantastic experience.
Thanks very much, and I am sure we will be seeing you again soon!
Kind regards,

Monday, 11 June 2012

Update on our Wallaby Joeys

 Our Bennetts Wallaby joeys are growing up very fast. Two of them left their mothers pouches just over a month ago, and are getting more confident every day!
Earlier this week (inbetween the rain showers!), I managed to snap a couple of photos of our lovely albino joey, who has also recently left the mothers pouch!
We have also noticed that there is a fourth joey this year! As you can see in the picture below the mothers pouch is very low, and when you watch it you can actually see something moving inside! We think the joey is still very young, but are keeping a close watch to see when he or she first pops their head out into the world!

Matthews Meerkat Encounter!

As a present for his twenty first birthday, Matthew Lloyd who lives on the island braved the rain and visited us today for his Meerkat Encounter!

As well as feeding them some healthy fruit and their favourite food- some juicy live mealworms, Matthew also helped us with some enrichment for the Meerkats.
We hid an egg inside a cardboard box to see if they could work out how to get it out. Within minutes they were investigating every side, digging around and under it, and even pulled it across the enclosure!
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They soon found that by working together, they could tip over the box…
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And were rewarded finally with the tasty egg!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Half Term Wildlife Encounters! - Part 2

It has been a very busy week with lots of visitors and wildlife encounters taking place over the half term!
On Friday the 8th of June we were joined in the morning by friends Emily Myers and Ella Brown for their Junior Wildlife Experience! They both had lots of fun getting up close to all the animals and were even brave enough to help feed our cheeky pelicans!
Then in the afternoon we welcomed Debbie and Duncan from Surrey for a Combo Encounter with our Meerkats and Penguins. They both said they “ Really loved it, and will come and do it again!”
On Saturday 9th of June, Tyler Harris joined the Animal Care Team for his Junior Wildlife Experience. He enjoyed meeting all of our animals but particularly liked holding our lovely ferret Horatio!
Then on Saturday afternoon we welcomed Sasha and her family to the penguin pool where they were able to hand feed and get up close to our cheeky Humboldt Penguins!
Today (Sunday 10th June) we first welcomed Shaun and Charlotte for their Penguin Encounter. After feeding the penguins, they were able to get up close and have a stroke of Danielle, one of our youngest (and cheekiest) penguins!
Then this afternoon Pete Skinner joined us for a chance to feed and get up close to our three lovely Meerkats. Pete was specially dressed for the occasion by sporting some very stylish Meerkat socks!