Friday, 25 January 2013


A decision has been taken by the Keepers to hand rear our penguin chicks this season.  Some years we take a break as our numbers are sufficient in the penguin pool and there is not a demand for surplus stock.
Penguin chick in eggPenguin chick hatching April 10Penguin chick in hand DSC_0015
We have 10 breeding pairs of Humboldt Penguins at the Park.  On average they lay two eggs that take between 39 – 42 days to incubate and hatch.  Our penguins are not very good parents!  Instead of regurgitating fish for their young they tend to pick up leaves, twigs and small pebbles and feed the chicks which is very dangerous.  Sometimes they just leave the chick by itself and not sit correctly on the nests so the chick gets cold and dies.

Penguin chick being syringe fedPenguin chick with fat belly DSC_0215Marian_Baby Penguins @ 20%

Once the chicks hatch they are weighed daily and then fed 10% of their body weight three times a day until they are around three months of age.  A liquidised fish soup is prepared with calcium, vitamins and a saline solution added.  Syringes are used to feed with data and records kept daily on size, weight and growth and an important emphasis put on sterilization and keeping all areas as clean as possible to avoid any bacterial infections.

The incubators have all been checked and serviced, all equipment is being organised and then to sort out the penguin breeding caves with the necessary nesting material they need to make a nice comfortable bed for the breeding stock to lay their eggs.  Excitement all round will keep you all posted……
Barrow load of trouble P1020866

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


The weather goes from a thick blanket of snow last Friday where the Park looked beautiful ~ a winter wonderland to freezing cold icy conditions and now today pouring with rain!  The animals all seem fine with hearty appetites.  The Otters had fun skidding around on their icy pond and as always are incredibly inquisitive about their surroundings and what is going on.

Otter on ice 1 (resized)ASC eating trout (D Nordell)Otter with video camera on ice (resized)
The Flamingos look so very fragile but are actually quite tough hardy stock!  We put the Chilean group away at night when the conditions underfoot are bad but they look quite beautiful against the white back drop.
Flamingos in the Snow
The Alpacas and Turkeys had fun in the Wallaby Paddock with the Alpacas having a ‘funny five minutes’ and galloping around in the snow enjoying all the slushy white stuff.
Alpacas in the SnowTurkeys in the Snow
We all look forward to the warm weather arriving and spring time.  Don’t forget the Park opens on March 23rd !

Thursday, 17 January 2013

V.I.P. Wildlife Encounters proving very popular at Seaview Wildlife

A fast flurry of V.I.P. Wildlife Encounter bookings are coming in almost on a daily basis.  Over the Christmas period these special Park experiences proved very popular Christmas gift ideas and many park vouchers were sent out to customers wishing to purchase such a unique present for their family and friends.
All six of our encounters are extremely popular but there is one family that keeps booking every year for our fabulous keeper for a Day Experience.  Esther and Jonathan Murphy are joining us again – I believe this is going to be Esther’s 5th KFAD with us!  Our amazing Animal Care Team must be doing something right to generate such impressive repeat business like this!

Esther & Jonathan feeding Penguins DSC_1285 - CopyEsther and Jonathan pelicans
Esther holding Henry Cooper (resized) DSC_1249
Above:  Images of Esther and Jonathan with some of our exquisite animals – if you are wondering what to buy a special friend or family member this year or you just fancy having a ‘ behind the scenes, hands-on, extraordinary Wildlife extravaganza’ then the most happening place on the Island for all the above is Seaview Wildlife Encounter’!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

How can the world stop this terrible trade and how can we help?


Rhino poaching in South Africa reaches record levels

Matt McGrath By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News
dead rhino A dead rhino is dehorned by a researcher in Zimbabwe
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Figures from the South African government indicate that poaching for rhinoceros has increased substantially in the last year.
A record 668 rhinos were killed for their horns in 2012, up almost 50% on the number for 2011.
The majority of the animals were killed in the Kruger national park, the country's biggest wildlife reserve.
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Rhinos are being illegally killed...all for the frivolous use of their horns as a hangover cure”
Sabri Zain TRAFFIC
Experts say that growing demand for rhino horn in Asia is driving the slaughter.
South Africa is home to around three quarters of the world's rhinoceros population of around 28,000 animals. In 2007 a mere 13 animals were lost to poachers.
But since then the killing has increased substantially. It is being fuelled by the belief in countries like China and Vietnam that powdered rhino horn has medicinal powers and can impact diseases like cancer. Horns can sell for around $65,000 a kg.
Poaching crisis
The rich rewards have attracted criminal gangs who deploy a range of sophisticated technologies in their efforts to capture and dehorn the animals.
The South African government have attempted to fight back using soldiers and surveillance aircraft, but the numbers indicate they are losing the fight.
rhino horn slices Rhino horn slices being sold in Japan
According to a recent report from the wildlife monitoring network, TRAFFIC, South Africa's rhinos are now facing a poaching crisis that will lead to a population decline.
"Rhinos are being illegally killed, their horns hacked off and the animals left to bleed to death," says Traffic's director of advocacy Sabri Zain, "all for the frivolous use of their horns as a hangover cure."
Five more rhinos have been killed since the start of this year according to the South African government.
But the country is not alone in facing a threat to its rare rhino population.
India is home to more that 2,200 rhinoceros which are found in the well-protected Kaziranga reserve.
However even the use of around 900 armed rangers and guards hasn't been able to stop the poachers. Last year across India, 18 animals were killed, up from ten in 2011.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Keeper Jo joins the Animal Care Team for 2013


I have always been fascinated with working with animals, however I never saw a career in the subject until I visited Zimbabwe for 4 weeks, volunteering at a Lion Conservation Park called, Antelope Park. After returning home, I was very interested in working with all types of animals, and definitely saw this as a career path. 


I have been at Seaview Wildlife encounter for 4 days, and I have enjoyed every minute. I have learnt so much already, and received a lot of help and support from the other Keepers.

On my first day at work, I got straight into the hard work, as well as being chased by a turkey, which was very entertaining. I wake up in the morning, looking forward to going to work.


I look forward to the Summer Season, to see the public walking around the park, and to complete my first public talk although I will probably be very nervous!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Tara Returns to Work

Tara pregnant March 2012 DSC_0601

Well 2012 was certainly an eventful year for me, Tara (Head Keeper). I was last seen at Work in March, waddling up to the penguins carrying a big bump around with me, which was of course my beautiful daughter Amelie-Rose. Now 9 months on I have returned to work on a part time basis… minus the bump!
I must admit it was extremely difficult to leave the house without shedding a tear as Amelie waved goodbye saying ‘ba ba’, however once I arrived at the Park and got stuck in it was like I had never left!

Turkey close-up DSC_0384

I thoroughly enjoyed my first day back and seeing all the Animals I missed so much especially Dippy and Skipper, our friendly Humboldt Penguins, and welcoming new Keeper Jo, who has recently joined the Animal Care Team for the coming season.

I came away with only one injury and that was from one of our boisterous Turkeys, who I can only imagine is getting their own back after all the Christmas dinners enjoyed!


 Needless to say I can’t wait for Amelie’s first visit and the chance for her to get so close to the Animals here at the Park and of course welcoming all our regular visitors back to the Park upon opening in March… A Happy New Year to all!