Sunday, 28 July 2013

More fab animal encounters!

Yesterday was another busy day for our Keepers. We were joined by Sam as ‘Keeper for a Day’ as a late birthday present. Sam loved meeting Jacob our very cute albino wallaby joey. He seems to be stealing the hearts of everyone coming to visit at the moment! Sam got to feed Jacob his afternoon milk supplement and got to tuck him in to bed for the night.
We were also joined by Tracy and Nick for a ‘Combo Encounter’ they first met Dippy and all his pals, then went to to meet the mischievous Meerkats.
Then today Alison and Simon joined us for a ‘Meerkat Encounter’ once again our trio were on top form!
To find out more about our fab animal encounters, click on the link below.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


Check out some fantastic comments from our Visitors book over the past couple of weeks!

  1st Visit fantastic place, wonderful animals and helpful informative staff.  Cafe reasonably priced we will come again and also very clean”

  Absolutely loved it here what a wonderful place.  We loved feeding the wallabies and pigs – very fun.  EPIC “

“  Love all the interaction with the wildlife and small animals, beautiful setting and thoroughly enjoyed “

Amazing experience, loving interaction with the animals!  Great facilities, clean and cared for.  Highly recommend”

  Fun amazing Park.  I loved seeing the birds and animals especially the Meerkats and Wallaby Feeding.  To be able to feed and touch the Wallabies a surreal day out “

  Fabulous!  So refreshing to  see happy animals well looked after in a comfortable clean environment a real pleasure to see.  Staff friendly and helpful made our stay very welcome.  Thank you “

_DSC4974 flamingo eye

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Junior Wildlife Experience enjoyed by four!

Lilly, Holly, Gabriel and Finn enjoyed their Junior Wildlife Experience yesterday morning whilst on holiday on the Island. Gabriel and Finn had such a wonderful time during their Junior Wildlife Experience last year that they wanted to do it all again and this time share it with friends Lilly and Holly.
Here are a few snapshots of their close encounters with the animals here at the Park…

We hope to welcome them all back again next year for a ‘Keeper for a day experience’!!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Very special ducklings

Our Eyton Tree Duck female has been sitting tight on her brood of eggs for the last few weeks. Here she is with her carefully constructed nest, cleverly hidden amongst the grass and bushes.
The eggs have successfully hatched and she is now the proud new mum to six tiny ducklings.
Both parents are very protective, here is an image captured of them earlier having their first swimming lesson with mum and dad. Just look how cute they are! A beautiful brood for beautiful parents.

Friday, 19 July 2013


Dippy the Isle Of Wight’s celebrity Penguin aims to promote Island Tourism with a creative theme that captures the imagination of everyone who loves Penguins. His adventures see him travel through time and space to different locations on the Isle of Wight.
The creative project involves models of Dippy and photos of the real Dippy superimposed into a variety of Isle of Wight locations. The pictures are then accompanied by short narrative about his adventures and posted on his website and facebook page
Dippy’s Adventures will then be developed into a series of children’s books which are planned to be published towards the end of the year.
Lorraine Adams, Director at Seaview Wildlife explains, “Dippy’s adventures will be educational and fun.  Dippy aims to promote outside activities, Island heritage and the environment.  Dippy’s mission is to show children how exciting and diverse the Island can be" . . Cross marketing with organisations on the Island has already begun including the much appreciated help and support of Yarmouth Harbour Company where a model Dippy has already been installed for the summer months at the entrance to their fantastic Harbour.

Dippy at Yarmouth harbour (2)                                           
The creative theme to Dippy’s Adventures on the Isle Of Wight is based upon the idea that the new scale model Needles lighthouse installation at Seaview Wildlife Encounter  will contain a magic door that is just big enough for a penguin to squeeze through.......
Mary Cracknell, Marketing Manager at the Needles Park commented “We are very excited about the new developments at Dippy’s Penguin Pool and look forward to Dippy’s magic door transporting him across the Island to the real Needles, where we will see him start off on his adventures around the Isle of Wight to a variety of destinations”

Dippy on his way home low res (1)                                                        
We look forward to developing this exciting project with more local businesses and organisations over the summer months”                 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Wildest Proposal!

Today we had the great pleasure of meeting Nick and Myleene who are on their Island holiday from London. They spent the morning feeding the wallabies, meeting Jacob the Joey. They got their hands nice and dirty feeding fish to the penguins and pelicans. Spent some time with the sleepy reptiles, went searching through the tropical House to meet Damien our Green Crested Touraco. Then met the mischievous meerkats and fed them some tasty Grubs. To finish of the morning they where met with a Champagne lunch.
To everyone’s delight Nick got down on one knee and popped the question… and she said Yes!
From the time spent with Nick and Myleene it’s clear that they are a lovely couple. Everyone at the park wish them a wonderful love to last a lifetime

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Keeper for the Day- Charlie Baker

Twelve year old Charlie Baker had the chance to help the Keepers today as he joined us as a ‘Keeper for the day’. This was a  birthday treat for Charlie who loves Animals and would one day like to work with them when he is older. He seemed to take to the job like a duck to water and particularly made good friends with one of our male Wallabies!
Here are just a few snapshots of his fun packed day….

If you would like to see what it’s really like to be a Keeper for a day just follow this link

Monday, 15 July 2013

First ever Wallaby Encounter!

Today Hayley and Stephen joined us for our first ever Wallaby Encounter. Travelling all the way from Cornwall, Hayley has a love of Wallabies. Having both visited the park before, they already knew some of the well known characters such as Willaby one of our albino males.
Today they had the pleasure of meeting our latest star of the mob Jacob, our extremely cute albino joey. As always he enjoyed some cuddles and is loving all the extra fuss he is receiving from everyone since his mum sadly died.
We hope you enjoyed this special encounter, please come and visit the park again soon!
To find out all about our awesome animal encounters click on this link below, thank you.

Friday, 12 July 2013

A Collection of our Latest Wildlife Encounters!

The past few weeks have been very busy here at the park not only with lots of visitors and school groups, but also with our very popular hands on wildlife encounters!
Here are a collection of photos from some of the encounters that have recently taken place…

Last week Hannah Cleverton joined us for her third time as a Keeper for a Day. All the keepers had a great time showing Hannah around the park once again:

The next day we welcomed Sara Goss for her day as a Keeper! Sarah really enjoyed working with all the animals but developed a soft spot for our gorgeous little albino wallaby joey!

That same day Steve Brady took part in a Meerkat Encounter. Steve loves everything to do with Meerkats and really enjoyed the chance to get up close to them! He also managed to try out some bubble enrichment too!

On Wednesday 10th July mother and daughter Lynn and Danielle visited us for a Penguin and Meerkat Encounter.
Lynn absolutely adores penguins and it had been a life long dream to get up close to them! This encounter was a birthday treat for Lynn and the keepers had a wonderful time introducing her to all of the cheeky penguins!
Later that day Lynns daughter Danielle met our mischievous meerkats:

Yesterday we were joined first by Lauren Millin for her Keeper for a Day experience. Lauren was visiting the park with the rest of her family and was a pleasure to take round for the day. She even managed to conquer her fear of our hissing cockroaches!
In the afternoon Daniel Ferrari took part in his Junior Wildlife Experience. Daniel was very enthusiastic about all the animals he met and he told the keepers he is hoping to get a job here at the park one day!

Then finally this morning Jenna Kreithaner joined us for her Combo Encounter with the Penguins and Meerkats!

If you or someone you know would like an amazing Wildlife Encounter then take a look at our website for more details:

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


We took our niece Hannah over to the Isle Of Wight recently for a third keeper for a day experience after she so enjoyed the previous two visits.

I confess to some apprehension about whether it would inevitably be rather predictable, offering little new - boring as teenagers are inclined to say.

But, as before, every aspect of the day was perfect, from our initial contact with reception through to everyone else at Seaview.

It would be remiss not to mention Charlotte and Fern, the 2 keepers who worked with Hannah who are just perfect ambassadors for you:  supportive, knowledgeable and thoroughly nice.

Please pass on our thanks to everyone who made Hannah's day so special, especially to Charlotte and Fern.

On the way back we asked Hannah what was the best bit  ' all of it ' came the immediate reply.  Mark's out of ten? ' Eleven or Twelve ' the immediate response.  Says it all really.

Thanks again

Lorraine and Kerry Paddison

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Day in the life of an Animal Keeper


I am very fortunate enough to have worked both as a Cat Carer for Cats Protection and an Animal Keeper at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. I have always had a passion for felines, but equally enjoy working alongside a variety of different species as well. Both jobs are very close to my heart and I am eager to share with you all the hectic day to day life of an Animal Keeper. 

A lot of people make the incorrect assumption that my job is easy, when in reality it’s far from it. If multi tasking is your forte then you might make a good Keeper! As a Keeper I am responsible for the care of a wide range of animal species and I learn something new every day. It is impossible to absorb all the facts on a species and we’re often asked questions to which we don’t know the answers, however some of the questions I have been asked recently especially by school groups have been rather funny.

“Why do you have penguins?”
“Why are the pelicans so big?”
“Can penguins fly?”
“Is that a turkey?” (It was in fact a guinea fowl. People make that mistake all the time.)
Recent events have made us all realise the potential danger we put ourselves in daily. Keeper Jo was knocked over by Ollie our boisterous Pygmy Goat and now has a broken wrist!

The most dangerous animals in the park are our three male Asian Short Clawed Otters; we actually have to have a special license to keep them, the same that you must have to keep a Lion or a Tiger. We go in the enclosure armed with brooms and steel-toe-capped boots as the otters love to chew at our shoes. The late Terry Nutkins lost two of his fingers to this particular species of Otter!

The parrots feel love, hate and jealousy towards us and we are often ‘dive bombed’ by them in our Big Flight Aviary. Maintaining your awareness of the situation is so important. You cannot afford to be complacent.

Daily tasks are not particularly glamorous but must be completed. To put it plainly we clean up a lot of poo. The work is very physical and includes a lot of sweeping, raking and heavy lifting. There is a daily schedule of presentations to the public. Even though I have done hundreds of talk before I still get nervous. We also now have animal encounters and Keeper for a Day experiences with paying members of the public. 

A lot of our time is also taken up by preparing meals for the animals. We also pre-prepare food for the following day to save time. Some of the food we prepare is not for the faint hearted either. We feed our owls dead day-old chicks, our Corn Snake eats dead baby mice, Priscilla our Bearded Dragon loves live cockroaches and our otters get served gutted Rainbow Trout.

One of my favourite aspects of the job is providing enrichment for the animals. We make fruit kebabs for our parrots, puzzle feeders for our Meerkats and frozen fishy ice cubes for our Otters. It is so important to keep the animals happy and we try to make their enclosures as natural and spacious as possible. 

Working outdoors can also provide many challenges, it can be freezing cold in the winter months and I often come home drenched through when it’s been raining. When it’s sunny it’s the best place to work in the world with the sun on your back and the stunning views of the Solent. However the t-shirt tan I am already developing isn’t a good look!
Perhaps the hardest part of the job is when an animal that you care for dies. Sadly, death is almost a daily occurrence in this line of work. Whether it’s a duckling or a guinea pig, you have more of an emotional attachment to some than others. Unfortunately our worst fears came true recently and poor Baby Roo the abandoned Wallaby Joey we have been hand-rearing lost his fight. The tough decision was made to have him put to sleep. It’s never easy but we take comfort in the fact that we gave him a good chance. Poor little Roo had a hole in his heart and only 10% use of his pancreas. This was why he wasn’t putting on weight and he was unable to digest his food properly. Special thanks must go to the Cats Protection who kindly lent us one of their heated pads for Roo, for use during the colder nights. 

In summary; I think a good Animal Keeper is someone who is dedicated to caring for animals with a passion for the natural world.
It is vital that an Animal Keeper is well organised, knowledgeable about the species in their care, reliable, hard-working, a team player and is confident interacting with the general public.

I hope and try to be all of these things. My top tips when visiting the park are to take your time to explore, remember to bring your camera, go along to the informative keeper talks, have some delicious food in the cafe, feed the ducks down by the lake, and if you’re feeling brave you could hold a cockroach at ‘Bugs and Reptiles’; 1pm in the Tropical House. Hope to see you all soon! 

By Holly Cluitt

Friday, 5 July 2013

Fab poem from Keeper for a Day Sheilagh Wilson!

We had to share this fantastic poem that was very kindly written and sent to the Keepers from Sheilagh Wilson who joined us last Tuesday as a ‘Keeper for a Day’.
Greeted by Ducks all clamouring for food, every shape and colour looking so good.
Meeting the Keepers who’ll look after me, so much to do, so much to see.
In with the Chipmunks, Rats and Bunny, white fur everywhere, it’s so funny!
On to the Pelicans whose beaks are ready - for lots of Fish – steady boys, steady.
Sort the food for the Penguins, plenty of sprats, what a good job there aren’t any cats!….
The penguins are moulting and feel a bit sorry, they’ll soon perk up so not to worry.
Mother duck fancied a swim there too, along with her ducklings two by two!
Pick up a fleece for little Jacob Cracker, he’s an orphaned joey in with the Alpaca.  Such a sweet little baby, he’s doing really well, the other wallabies accept him, you can tell.
Prepare more food for all the rest, they wont go hungry, its the very best.
Onto the hot house with creatures in tow, baby dragon and snake to be handled just so.
Lunch in a hurry with lots to eat, pick up some pellets for the wallaby meet – they come hopping over ready to greet, then in with the meerkats, oh what a treat!
Lots of goodies all of a kind, for little paws to seek and find.  Grain for the birds on the lower lake too, so many come squabbling, surrounding you.
It certainly has been a wonderful day, so everyone there, all I can say is a……..GREAT BIG THANK YOU !!!!!