Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo, previously known as the Sandown Zoo, is a sanctuary inside the former Sandown Fort on the coastline of Sandown, Isle of Wight. The zoo was privately owned but became a charitable trust in 2017. The collection focuses principally on big cats and Madagascan animals.

As part of the European Endangered Species Programme, the zoo has had success breeding several species of Madagascan animals including the critically endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur.

Isle of Wight Zoo
Isle of Wight Zoo logo
Isle of Wight Zoo logo
Isle of Wight Zoo Front
LocationSandown, Isle of Wight, England
Coordinates50°39′39″N 1°08′22″W / 50.6609°N 1.1394°WCoordinates: 50°39′39″N 1°08′22″W / 50.6609°N 1.1394°W
Major exhibitsTigers, lemurs


Originally known as Sandown Zoo, the zoo was established in the 1950s. By the 1970s it had fallen into disrepair, and was dubbed "The Slum Zoo of Britain" by The Sunday Times. However, in 1976 the zoo was taken over by a new owner Jack Corney, and over the following years it was rebuilt as a sanctuary for big cats and primates. Since Corney died in 2003 the zoo has been run by his daughter Charlotte.[1]

Main species

Big cats

The zoo is currently home to seven tigers and two African lions. The zoo has recently rescued five tigers from a circus in southern Spain[2]

Tiger (IOW Zoo)
Tiger at the zoo

In recent years, three Indian themed enclosures have opened featuring glass viewing panels, ponds, natural planting and themed statues and temples. These enclosures were designed and built with the assistance of Ecclestone George Public Artists.[3]


The zoo also has a Madagascan theme, and the primate section reflects this by specialising in lemurs. It houses ring-tailed, black-and-white ruffed, red ruffed, black, white-fronted brown and mongoose lemurs, several of which have bred in recent years as part of European breeding programmes.

The primate section is also home to spider monkeys and capuchins.

Zoo At Home Animal Cafe

Formerly the reptile house, Zoo At Home is a zone for pet animals. It was adapted with the assistance of Pets At Home. It is also currently home to the zoo's Madagascan giant jumping rats. As of September 2012 the area became the Animal Cafe, where visitors can eat as they watch the animals.


The zoo currently funds two conservation projects, both related to its areas of special interest.

The principal project is 'Local Advocacy for Tiger Conservation in Bhadra-Kudremukh Tiger Landscape'. This project us administered by charity Global Tiger Patrol, and funded wholly by the zoo. Over the year 2010/11 the zoo's contribution was £10800.[4] In November 2011 this project won the BIAZA award for Best Conservation Project (Small Collection).[5]

The second project focuses on Madagascar, and is administered by the Madagascar Fauna Group. As a sponsoring member, the Isle of Wight Zoo contributes $5000 annually.[6] The zoo sponsors and agroforestry station aimed at teaching alternative farming methods to the destructive slash-and-burn techniques commonly used.


The zoo was the subject and main filming location for the ITV Meridian television programme Tiger Island. Two series were filmed, showing different aspects of zoo life including making enrichment toys and designing new enclosures. A film was in production giving a behind-the-scenes view of the zoo and was to be ready in August 2013.


  1. ^ Della-Ragione, Joanna (2014-01-02). "My animal family: Walking with tigers, playing with bear cubs, caring for cobras". Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  2. ^ "Rescued tigers now at Isle of Wight Zoo". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  3. ^ "Ecclestone George Exhibit Construction". Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Tiger Conservation at the Isle of Wight Zoo". Isle of Wight Zoo. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Conservation award for Isle of Wight Zoo". Isle of Wight County Press. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  6. ^ "MFG Institutional Members". Madagascar Fauna Group. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2012.

External links

Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival

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Chris Packham

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Golden tiger

A golden tiger, golden tabby tiger or strawberry tiger is a tiger with a colour variation caused by a recessive gene. The colouration is a result of captive breeding and inbreeding. Like the white tiger, it is a colour form and not a separate species.

No official name has been designated for the colour. It is sometimes referred to as the strawberry tiger due to the strawberry white/blonde colouration. Their striping is much paler than other usual tigers and may fade into spots or large prominent patches. Golden tigers also tend to be larger and, due to the effect of the gene on the hair shaft, have softer fur than their orange relatives.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path (or Coastal Footpath) is a circular long-distance footpath of 70 miles (113 km) around the Isle of Wight, UK. It follows public footpaths and minor lanes, with some sections along roads.


Jabujicaba is an eco-thriller set in Brazil, written under the pen name of Rosa da Silva. It is the story of Carmen Macedo, a black journalist born in Brazil (adopted and brought up in England) who rediscovers her roots on an investigation into an eco-disaster in the Amazon rainforest.Jabujicaba was published in 2014 in English and is part of a grass-roots environmental movement. It is the flagship project of Voices for Nature Ltd, a not-for-profit company based in England. Voices for Nature was set up to support and promote artistic projects in all media that relate to the conservation of flora and fauna in and from Brazil’s rainforests.The book is currently under development as a film and has been translated into Brazilian Portuguese. All royalties from Jabujicaba support conservation projects in Brazil’s rainforests.

List of tourist attractions in the Isle of Wight

The following is a list of tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight.

List of zoological gardens and aquariums in United Kingdom

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List of zoos by country

This is a list of zoological gardens (zoos) around the world. For aquaria, see List of aquaria. For dolphinariums, see List of dolphinariums. For an annotated list of defunct zoos and aquariums, see List of former zoos and aquariums.

Zoos are primarily dry facilities where animals are kept within enclosures and displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred. Such facilities include zoos, safari parks, animal theme parks, aviaries, butterfly zoos and reptile centers, as well as wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves where visitors are allowed.

National Poo Museum

The National Poo Museum on The Isle of Wight is a museum dedicated to the collection, conservation and display of faeces. The museum, which began on 25 March 2016, is currently mobile but is establishing a permanent location at Sandown Barrack Battery.The poo is displayed in resin spheres, where it can be viewed and held. The process involves drying the poo, which can take up to 2 weeks, before it is encapsulated and placed in a vacuum chamber, so that air bubbles are removed. The main aim of the museum is to break down the 'taboo' surrounding poo in human life, and the museum hopes to do this by receiving donations of poo from celebrities. The museum also aims to educate people about the issues related to poo including dog fouling and sanitation.The museum was founded by members of Eccleston George - 'a collection of creative people who work together on many different kinds of projects', who are based on the Isle of Wight.

Open top buses in the United Kingdom

Open top buses are used in the United Kingdom for sightseeing and seasonal summer services.

Operation Pluto

Operation Pluto (Pipe-Lines Under the Ocean) was a Second World War operation by British engineers, oil companies, and the British Armed Forces; to construct undersea oil pipelines under the English Channel between England and France in support of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. According to the Official History, PLUTO originally stood for 'Pipe-Line Underwater Transportation of Oil'.

The scheme was developed by Arthur Hartley, chief engineer with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Allied forces on the European continent required a tremendous amount of fuel. Pipelines were considered necessary to relieve dependence on oil tankers, which could be slowed by bad weather, were vulnerable to German submarines, and were also needed in the Pacific War. Geoffrey William Lloyd, the Secretary for Petroleum, in 1942 met Admiral Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, whose area this was, and then the Chairman of Anglo-Iranian. Hartley's idea of using adapted submarine telephone cable was adopted.The battle of Normandy was won without a drop of fuel being delivered via the Pluto cross-channel pipelines. Only eight per cent of the fuel delivered to the Allied forces in North-West Europe between D-Day and VE Day was via those pipelines; the rest being by tanker, either in bulk or in cans, or by airlift.

Petroleum Warfare Department

The Petroleum Warfare Department (PWD) was an organisation established in Britain in 1940 in response to the invasion crisis during World War II, when it appeared that Germany would invade the country. The department was initially tasked with developing the uses of petroleum as a weapon of war and it oversaw the introduction of a wide range of flame warfare weapons. Later in the war, the department was instrumental in the creation of the Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation (commonly known as FIDO) that cleared runways of fog allowing the landing of aircraft returning from bombing raids over Germany in poor visibility; and Operation Pluto which installed prefabricated fuel pipelines between England and France soon after the Allied Invasion of Normandy in June 1944.


Sandown is a seaside resort and civil parish on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, England, with the town of Shanklin to the south and the settlement of Lake in between.

Sandown is the northernmost town of Sandown Bay, known for its long stretches of easily accessible, sandy beach.

The outer Bay is also used as a sheltered anchorage, with ships requiring salvage periodically towed there (such as the Tarpenbeck). The wreck of a salvage tug could be seen until recently at low tide under Culver Cliff, (the Harry Sharman) which had been assisting the stricken tanker Pacific Glory in the 1970s.

Together with Shanklin, Sandown forms a built-up area of 21,374 inhabitants.

Sandown Fort

Sandown Fort (map reference SZ597839) is a fort built in Sandown on the Isle of Wight in the middle of Sandown Bay. It is one of the many Palmerston Forts built on the island to protect it in response to a perceived French invasion. It was a replacement of the earlier Sandown Diamond Fort (see Sandown Bay) as in 1859 the Royal Commission felt it did not offer suitable protection. Construction of the fort began in April 1861 and was completed by September 1864 at a cost of £73,876. In later documents it is often referred to as Granite Fort. The fort originally had 18 9-inch R.M.L guns facing the sea behind iron shields, these guns were later upgraded and an extra 5 inches of armor was added.The fort was sold in 1930 but during World War II the fort played a significant role in the D-Day landings as it housed sixteen pumps for the PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) operation to Allies supplied with fuel. Each of the 16 pumps supplied 36,000 imperial gallons (1,000 barrels; 160,000 litres) of fuel per day at a pressure of 1,500 lb per square inch. In the 1950's the site went on to house the Isle of Wight Zoo, which it continues to do so to this day.

Shit Museum

The Shit Museum (Italian: Museo Della Merda) is a museum in the province of Piacenza, in the north of Italy, and is reported to be the world's first museum dedicated to faeces. The museum opened on 5 May 2015, having been founded by agricultural businessman Gianantonio Locatelli and three associates.

Trackless train

A trackless train — or tram (U.S. English), road train, land train, parking lot tram, Dotto train or Choo-Choo train — is a road-going articulated vehicle used for the transport of passengers, comprising a driving vehicle pulling one or more carriages connected by drawbar couplings, in the manner of a road-going railway train.

Similar vehicles may be used for transport of freight or baggage for short distances, such as at a factory or airport.


Yaverland is a village on the Isle of Wight, just north of Sandown on Sandown Bay. It has about 200 houses. About ​1⁄3 of a mile away from the village is the Yaverland Manor and Church. Holotype fossils have been discovered here of Yaverlandia and a pterosaur, Caulkicephalus. The White Air extreme sports festival was held annually at Yaverland pay and display car park between 1997 and 2008, but moved to Brighton for 2009.The older part of the village is spread along the road to Bembridge by the Norman Church. The newer part is along the seafront, consisting entirely of a bungalow estate. The name appears to come from a local rendition of "over land" - being the land over the once-tidal causeway. An alternative derivation is from "Yar Island".

In the fields below Yaverland the archaeological television programme Time Team discovered a Roman smithy.

In 1545 a battle took place in Yaverland between French forces and local levies. The French were crossing Culver Down from their landing at Whitecliff Bay in order to attack Sandown Castle and link up with a force from Bonchurch. The French fought their way into Sandown but were defeated at Sandown Castle, then under construction in the sea.

The Isle of Wight Zoo is in Yaverland. The zoo is noted for its collection of rescued tigers and increasingly realistic and spacious enclosures for them. The zoo inhabits much of the converted buildings of the Granite Fort built by Lord Palmerston as a defense against the French in 1860. The grounds were used by the military during World War II as part of the Pluto pipeline to send oil under the English Channel to France to fuel the Allied war efforts.

By the sea is the Yaverland Sailing and Boat Club and along the seashore are fossil-bearing beds, which may be explored by guided walks from Dinosaur Isle. A holiday camp is located further north in the village, and was once the site of Yaverland Battery.

In November 2008, the Isle of Wight Council opened a new public toilet block which runs completely from renewable energy generated on-site. It is thought to be one of the "greenest" facilities in the UK.Southern Vectis bus route 8 links the village with the towns of Newport, Ryde, Bembridge and Sandown, including intermediate towns. Wightbus run route 22 around Culver Way to Sandown, after Southern Vectis withdrew route 10 from the area.

Zoological gardens in the United Kingdom
Safari parks
Unitary authorities
Major settlements


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