Contact Us

Tel: 01983 403883

Isle of Wight Zoo,Yaverland Seafront
Sandown, Isle of Wight
PO36 8QB

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question not on our list you can send it in using our contact form at the top right of the page. 

What animals live at the zoo?

We specialise in tigers and lemurs, but we have plenty of other animals too, including lions, jaguars, monkeys and reptiles. You can find out more at our Meet the Animals page.

What does the zoo do for conservation?

We give financial support to projects in India and Madagascar. We participate in European Breeding Programmes for many of our Madagascan animals. We also raise money for EAZA's annual campaigns. Onsite we provide areas for our native species to live undisturbed.

Which animal gets the most adoptions?

Zena the white tiger, by a long way. Casper the white lion also does well, as does Diamond the tabby tiger. Among the primates, Millie the youngest spider monkey is very popular.

Can I touch an animal at the zoo?

Yes, but not all of them! Zoo at Home is the animal handling zone, where visitors can meet small animals that don't mind being touched. We also have a mini-farm where you can get hands-on with the goats and Winston the pig.

Does anyone go in with the tigers?

Definitely not. We believe that even hand-raised tigers are unpredictable wild animals. They are also far stronger than people, and what seems like a gentle play fight to a tiger could be deadly to a human. Our keepers stay the safe side of the fence!

When the keepers need to go into the enclosure they first call the tigers into their night room and shut them inside. If our dangerous animals ever need to be moved or examined then they are first anaesthetised by our vet.

Can I do work experience at the zoo?

If you meet the criteria you can certainly apply - see our Work Experience page for details. We get a lot of applications every year so we can't cater for everyone, but we're happy to consider every application.

Why don't you have my favourite animal?

That depends what it is! We are a specialist collection, so we will probably always favour big cats and animals from Madagascar. This allows us to develop a high level of expertise in their care. We also have to be aware of the size of the zoo - we do not have the physical room for animals such as elephants and giraffes that need very large enclosures.

Sometime we decide we do want a certain type of animal, but have obstacles to work past. We need to find an individual who is able to come to the zoo, and we need to know all about them. We need to make sure we have suitable accommodation for them, including company if they are social animals. If they are coming from abroad we will also need to arrange their quarantine.

We are a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, who encourage zoos to loan and give their animals to each other. They can help us find animals if we need a certain type. We are also members of several breeding programmes, and sometimes the studbook holder for a particular species will ask zoos to send animals to other institutions in the hope of matchmaking.

As you see, it's a very complicated business!

Where are the toilets?

They're next to the Ring-Tailed lemurs, and they are signposted. Staff will be happy to direct you if you're lost!