Tag Archives: Isle of Wight Zoo

Hearts for tigers fundraising campaign launched

Help The Wildheart Trust provide safe sanctuary on the Isle of Wight for a rescued tiger 

“We can’t change the world for every tiger in need but together we can make the world of difference for this one. Every penny will all add up to provide a much richer life for this animal.” Chris Packham – broadcaster, author and trustee of The Wildheart Trust.

The Wildheart Trust is based at the Isle of Wight Zoo. The zoo has long been known and respected for its provision of lifelong refuge for unwanted, confiscated and mistreated big cats and is committed to the care and conservation of these wonderful animals. During the Isle of Wight Zoo’s 40 year lifetime more than 60 big cats have been given safe haven here. From tigers to lions and jaguars, the dedicated specialised team have worked tirelessly to ensure they have had a safe, loving and enriching place to call home. Currently the zoo’s big cat family totals 8 individuals who have come from a variety of unfortunate backgrounds.

Every year countless big cats end up in temporary rescue centres across Europe, all with a tragic story to tell. Whether they have been abandoned by private owners (who no longer want them after they outgrow the cute and cuddly phase) or have been subjected to cruelty or bad welfare in circuses, they all need a permanent home. Until they find one, other desperate animals must wait their turn to be saved.

In March of this year the zoo sadly lost one of its beloved tigers, Lola, an elderly ex-circus cat. Lola left behind her good friend Simi, also an ex-circus tiger. In many ways Lola’s loss was bittersweet, because as much as she is still missed, there is now space to rescue another tiger. However, in order to facilitate this major re-development of the old outdoor enclosure complex, work must be undertaken to ensure it meets the highest standards for this next era of rescue work. Unfortunately, at this time the zoo does not have the funds in its operating budget to cover the cost of this renovation work and therefore must fundraise.

A dedicated crowdfunder page has been set up to assist the zoo in raising the vital funds and donations are now starting to roll in ,every donation made will take the zoo one step closer to reaching its goal.

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/heartsfortigers

Message from CEO and trustee of The Wildheart Trust – Charlotte Corney

“Without the support of our friends we would never have evolved into the specialist centre that we are today. Once we have completed the renovation, the team will be ready and waiting to welcome another tiger into The Wildheart family where he or she will be provided with exemplary day to day care”

How much will the project cost?  

The project will be undertaken in two phases and will cost a total £50,000.

Phase 1 (£38,000) will include:

  • Demolition and removal of old enclosure
  • Replacement of exterior fencing
  • Construction of a new dividing fence
  • Planting and soft landscaping
  • Creation of two ponds
  • Building of resting platforms

Phase 2 (£12,000) will include:

  • Building of two heated rocks with caves

In the unlikely event that the project should come in under budget we will ensure that any surplus funds raised be put into a ‘Tiger Pension Plan’ for the rescued tiger. These funds would help towards the future care of the individual cat. 

The aim is for Phase 1 of the work to be completed by the end of the summer, with sufficient funds raised to enable the zoo to embark on Phase 2 by the autumn of 2017. The sooner the facility is completed, the sooner the zoo can welcome a tiger into its care.

-ENDS-

Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Officer, Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.comNotes to editors:

The Isle of Wight Zoo aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The Zoo is best known for its work with exotic cats. As a centre for surplus or rescued big cats, all have come to the Zoo at different stages of their lives and from a variety of backgrounds. The Isle of Wight Zoo is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar

The nations oldest white tiger, ‘Zena’, celebrates her 21st birthday at the Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo will be hosting a weekend of celebrations in an exciting two day event over the weekend of Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May, to help celebrate the 21st birthday of one of its much loved big cats, ‘Zena’, the white tiger. Zena is the oldest white tiger in the UK and believed to be one of the oldest in Europe.

Having been rejected at birth by her mother at Longleat Safari Park, Zena arrived at the zoo at the tender age of 3 weeks in early summer 1996. The founder’s daughter and now CEO, Charlotte Corney, soon became surrogate mum to the orphaned cub which she lovingly hand-raised and would go swimming within the sea around Sandown Bay.

During her adolescence Zena quickly found her way into the hearts and minds of the zoo team and its extended family of Island residents and mainland visitors. In 2007-8 Zena was transported into living rooms all over the world thanks to her starring role in ITV’s award-winning series ‘Tiger Island’ which was based at the Isle of Wight Zoo.

Reflecting on the past 21yrs Charlotte fondly recall’s “It seems like a mere moment ago that Zena was a small, white bouncing bundle of a tiger. She is the chalk to her older sisters’ cheese, she’s the ‘tom boy’ always delighting in an opportunity to get dirty or show her mischievous side. It’s been the greatest gift to have been her human mum and watch her grow up into a fine, if not ‘refined’, lady! She has been, and continues to be, a central character even in her mature years and I have no doubt that she has sparked many a persons’ desire to value more the wonderfully diverse wildlife which we share our world with. I am proud of her for that and, well, for just being utterly, uniquely, ‘Zena’. ”

Zena is a resilient individual having overcome the removal of her right eye after battling the effects of glaucoma followed by cataract surgery in her remaining eye – but even these challenges have failed to diminish her zest for life and Zena readily adapted to her reduced vision. She also has a form of  inflammatory bowel disease which requires specialist management by her carers, every day she devours freshly minced chicken laced with probiotics to keep her healthy.

White tigers are not albinos but rather naturally occurring ‘leusictic’ forms of the ordinary orange colour form. The last known wild white tiger was shot in 1958 in Central India.

In the wild a tiger’s maximum life span would rarely span past 10-15 yrs so approaching her 21st birthday, Zena is certainly a grand old lady, yet she still retains her looks, charm and charisma.

Visitors planning to enjoy the weekend’s events will be able to take advantage of a special celebratory 2 for 1 entry voucher available to download from the zoo’s website from today 17th May. http://www.isleofwightzoo.com

 -ENDS-

Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Officer, Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.com
Notes to editors:

The Isle of Wight Zoo is a charity (‘The Wildheart Trust’) which aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The Zoo is best known for providing a lifelong home for rescued big cats which come to the Zoo at different stages of their lives and from a variety of backgrounds. The Isle of Wight Zoo is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar.

 

 

Simi the ex-circus tiger to finally arrive at the Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo are excitedly getting ready to welcome Simi, the ex-circus tiger, this weekend. Simi was seized, two years ago, from a German circus on welfare grounds; since when she has been living in a rescue facility in Belgium.

Following months of bureaucratic challenges to import Simi, she became the centre of a media circus when her plight was bought to the attention of David Cameron, via Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner, during Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons in September 2015.

This weekend a team from the Isle of Wight Zoo will finally set out to bring 8 year old Simi back to the Island where she will have a lifelong home.

Zoo director Charlotte Corney said “We are over the moon to be in a position to meet Simi and settle her into her new home. At long last she will have the opportunity to put down her roots and we are really looking forward to providing her with the specialist care and attention she deserves”.

The zoo carried out negotiations with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for a rabies waiver to allow the animal to be imported into the UK. A spokeswoman for the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) said: “Quarantine waivers are strictly controlled and only issued if certain criteria can be met by the premises of origin and destination.

APHA has work with the Isle of Wight Zoo to ensure that the correct procedures have been followed.

The Isle of Wight Zoo prides itself on its first class animal care and has given refuge to a number of big cats in its 40 years operating as a specialist centre.

-ENDS-

Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Manager , Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.com

Notes to editors:

The Isle of Wight Zoo aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The zoo is best known for its work with exotic cats and is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar. It acts as a centre for surplus and rescued animals that come to the zoo at different stages of their lives from a variety of backgrounds.