The Isle of Wight Zoo is a well-established, popular wildlife centre based on the east coast of the Island and family owned for over 40 years.Following many years under private ownership, it is the Island’s original zoo and is well-loved by the local community and widely visited by residents as well as tourists.
The Zoo has recently become part of The Wildheart Trust, a charity which was founded to secure a long-term future for the zoo and enable it to fulfil its global ambitions to make a really meaningful impact on the health of the natural world while improving the well-being of animals in human care.
The zoo is dedicated to engaging, involving and empowering people from both the heart and the head – one of its most important tasks is to convert 'care’ into 'action’. It is also committed to providing a life-long, loving home to rescued big cats and other animal residents and the team work holistically to ensure each individual has an enriched and meaningful life.
The Wildheart Trust actively funds and donates its human resources to assist with the in-situ conservation of tigers (in India), lemurs (in Madagascar) and rare moths (IOW).
The zoo was built within the ruins of a Victorian Fort built to guard Sandown's coast, which means we 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 we're still famous locally for it. Nowadays we focus on looking after older tigers and giving them a happy retirement.
Our fundamental goals can be divided into:
Providing top-quality day to day Care for the animals at the zoo is our 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.
Our long-term goal is to keep contributing to Conservation. Many of our animals are threatened in the wild, largely through human activity. We fund conservation projects in India and Madagascar, and also participate in European Endangered Species breeding programmes for some of our Madagascan animals.
Through Education, we aim to inspire our visitors with a passion for the natural world. We are always looking for ways to make it fun and easy to find out about our animals. Our tour guides make the experience interactive, with friendly presentations and daily talks. We also work in formal education, hosting school groups and visiting classrooms.