You may not believe it but across the Isle of Wight, there are a whole host of opportunities to get up-close and personal with our four-legged and furry friends.
As the warmer months fade into the past, Autumn is the perfect time to get out an explore some of the wild offerings the Isle of Wight has to offer. Whether you’re on the lookout for furious feline beasts at the Isle of Wight Zoo, or fluffy four-legged friends at Tapnell Farm Park, the Island has a diverse wealth of animal encounters for the whole family.
October sees the arrival of World Animal Day, aiming to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Celebrated in a variety of different ways in every country, the Isle of Wight is no different with a variety of animal and wildlife experiences both with indoor and outdoor experiences.
West Wight Alpacas
23 acres of the picturesque countryside, West Wight Alpacas is home to a wonderful herd of unique Suri alpacas and woolly and Suri llamas. Come trekking with these adorable animals, drop into the farm café and shop or simply take a leisurely stroll around the farm and watch alpacas roam. The award-winning breeders really know a thing or two about these animals.
Here at this all-weather indoor attraction you can learn about conservation and rainforests and come face to face with some of the worlds most unusual, beautiful and endangered creatures. Some you won’t be able to see anywhere else in the UK or even Europe! Try to spot the many species of tropical birds flying freely through the rainforest above your head or count the crocodiles in the pond. Enjoy the displays and talks or just sit and watch the lemurs as they sunbathe and play.
Tapnell Farm Park
Packed with fun for all the family, the new Farm Park open all-year-round offers a range of hands-on animal experiences and indoor and outdoor play. Visitors will have a wide variety of animals to meet at the Farm Park. These include the mobs of Wallabies and Meerkats rehomed from Seaview Wildlife Encounter, along with a whole host of Tapnell Farm’s own animals. Interactive animal experiences will allow visitors to get “hands-on” with many of their new residents. These will include Meerkat Encounters, Wallaby meet and greets, Calf Feeding, Donkey Grooming, and a variety of different animal talks with Tapnell Farm Park’s keepers.
Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary
Based between Shanklin and Ventnor on the road to Wroxall, The Donkey Sanctuary is open all year round from 10:00 till 16:30, weather permitting. Everyone is welcome to come and visit the lovely donkeys, including well-behaved dogs.
Currently home to over 100 abandoned donkeys, with 55 acres of walkways and natural meadows. There are indoor barns and visitor areas, suitable for wet weather, with donkey experiences, donkey grooming, shetland walking, plus you can even adopt your own donkey.
Monkey Haven is a rescue centre and sanctuary for primates and birds of prey who are in desperate need of care and attention. The animals have come to us for various reasons – they may have been bullied within their original groups, rescued from the illegal pet trade, or unsuitable for breeding programmes.
Giving animals another chance to live enriched, carefree lives in a relaxed and tranquil environment. Having opened in April 2010, and continue to expand and develop, so that they can be re-homed and rehabilitated more and more animals in need of their care.
Isle of Wight Zoo
The Isle of Wight Zoo is a family-run zoo with a special interest in tigers and lemurs. The zoo was built within the ruins of a Victorian Fort built to guard Sandown’s coast, which means they face one of the Isle of Wight’s nicest beaches. Once upon a time, the zoo owners used to walk tiger cubs on the beach, and they’re still famous locally for it. Nowadays they focus on looking after older tigers and giving them a happy retirement.
Providing top-quality day to day Care for the animals at the zoo is their ongoing mission. This isn’t just about the keepers and veterinary staff – it also involves people such as the maintenance and horticulture staff who look after their enclosures. Every single person who works or volunteers at the zoo makes a contribution to animal welfare.
Tucked away in Havenstreet, a special corner of the Isle of Wight, the friendly team at Haven Falconry are dedicated and skilled falconers who have a passion for birds of prey with experience back over 45 years! Their ethos is education through fun! With a wonderful collection of owls, hawks, falcons, eagles and vultures, their care and welfare being their utmost priority. With a desire is to promote and preserve the art of falconry and birds of prey… But also to do much more than just present the traditional work of the Falconer!