Contact Us

Tel: 01983 403883

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

Meet the Tigers...

For several years the species of cat we have chosen to specialise in has been the tiger. The zoo is now home to seven tigers, four of whom have circus backgrounds.

Although we have successfully bred in the past, we don't breed our current tigers. This is for a few reasons:

  • Their bloodlines are impure or unknown. This means that they can't be part of official breeding programmes for their subspecies and that breeding them would not be valuable for tiger conservation. Some also have genetic conditions which we don't want them to pass on.
  • They are too old. We are more of a retirement home than a matchmaking service!
  • Caring for cubs is a big commitment. If we do decide to breed any of our animals we need to be sure we know what will happen to the babies when they grow up.
  • In particular, breeding white tigers is not ethical practise. There has been so much inbreeding in their history that they are now prone to serious health problems. Our own white tiger, Zena, has suffered from eye problems for many years, and in 2006 had to have one of her eyes removed due to glaucoma.
Our tiger conservation work focuses on education and protecting tigers in the wild. Read about our tiger project in India.

Our tigers act as ambassadors for their species, and we hope that visiting them will inspire our visitors to care about efforts to protect them. Click on their names to find out about each one.


tiger Aysha epitomises the saying "all the best things come in small packages". Having been born somewhat weak, she is small in stature. Nevertheless, what she lacks in size she makes up for in personality. Definitely one of the chummiest tigers in the sanctuary, she seldom fails to greet those familiar to her and then she just won't leave you alone! Aysha hands out copious amounts of affection, usually marked by endless purring.

To make her all the more likeable, she is never bad-tempered or fractious. Despite her elfin charm, Aysha may know how to use her sweetness to win hearts but when it comes to the crunch she is certainly a tough little cookie!

Adopt Aysha...


tigerLola came to us in 1999 from a French circus. She has a brother, Sultan, with whom she lived on arrival. Unfortunately, these two siblings had to be separated as they matured and their behaviour started to change towards each other. Lola is an inquisitive tiger who is always on the go. She is pleasant to fellow tigers and her human carers. Lola has enjoyed the company of Chandru for many years.

Although she has undergone a trial integration with Chandru, it is likely that these cats will remain next door neighbours, continuing to soak up each others positive characters. Lola has recently been transferred to a public zone of the zoo having spent her initial years at the zoo off-show. This change has suited her vibrant spirit as she loves being more central to the busy day-to-day activities of the zoo.

Adopt Lola...



tigerZena is a fun and bubbly cat. She is cute and completely irresistible. Part of her appeal is in her tomboyish tendencies. Zena shows no consideration to her beautiful white coat, she is a rare white version of the Indian tiger, when it rains she will consequently splash around in as many muddy puddles as she can find only to emerge looking like she's been down a coal mine! Unlike her older sister, Zia, Zena doesn't seem to understand the meaning of vanity. Zena has a real zest for life, which is evident from watching her humorous antics. Amongst other things, she has perfected the art of bouncing along on her hind legs while trying to 'bite' the jet of water from a hosepipe! Whatever Zena's doing, she is always grateful for an adoring audience. In short, this tigress is a positive show-off! With Zena, what you see is what you get. There are no complicated sides to her character or shady unknowns. She wears her heart on her sleeve and would sooner trust than mistrust. Zena is as un-streetwise as they come, always seeking care and guidance from Zia. One of Zena's greatest pleasures comes in the shape of food. She is something of a feline hoover with eyes bigger than her belly. On special occasions she expects certain edible luxuries such as smoked haddock and smoked salmon! Ultimately, it is tigers like Zena that are capable of creating the most impact. Because of the sharp contrast between Zena the loveable, overgrown pussycat, and Zena the cat who could obliterate your existence in seconds. Adopt Zena...


tigerZia is a cracker of a cat. She has a kaleidoscopic character, which captivates all with whom it collides. She can be catty yet cuddly, stuck-up but sweet. During the summer months she is quite content to while away the hours sun worshipping but is quick to mock hunt an unsuspecting passer-by, the smaller the better! Her frolicsome activity comes in spurts and can end as soon as it starts if her sister, Zena gets a bit carried away. Zia is a trendy little miss and is sure to always look her best. Wet mornings are a particular no-no, a good job indeed that Zia doesn't have to endure the Indian monsoon season! She is ever so prim and proper and gracefully feminine. A very pretty tigress, with exquisite markings and a unique, sandy colouring (due to her being a carrier of the white gene) and fab whiskers, Zia draws much attention from us lesser beings. Not in the least camera-shy, she rarely tires of posing for clicks.

Zia is not the easiest cat to cater for. There are times when you can do nothing to please, the foods wrong, the affection's wrong, the lack of affection's wrong! Zia may be obnoxious at times but has ways of making things up with her enchanting nature. When it comes to the crunch, she seems to value the relationship that she has with Zena and her human companions. She may act at little spoilt at times and can be very attention seeking but, really, she is truly special cat.

Adopt Zia...