Isle of Wight Zoo to re-open on 12th April as Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

Posted on March 31, 2021


New name reflects our focus on rescued and threatened wildlife and puts the Isle of Wight at the frontline of the protection of endangered species.

The Wildheart Trust will reopen to the public on 12th April with a new name, a new brand and a renewed focus on protecting the world’s most endangered species. The Isle of Wight Zoo is being renamed as the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, reflecting its evolution from a traditional zoo to a rescue-first sanctuary for threatened wildlife.

Over time, the Isle of Wight Zoo has transitioned its role from one of a traditional zoological park to the role of a sanctuary - a shared space for rescued animals to flourish in a caring environment and for humans to be inspired and learn from the natural world that surrounds them. As a result, being called a ‘sanctuary’ is now more fitting for its activities on the Island and for the empowering experience that people have when they visit.

Charlotte Corney, Founder and Trustee of the Wildheart Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be sharing this significant moment in our history with our wide range of members, donors, visitors and the Isle of Wight community.

Our approach is now ‘rescue-first’, caring for animals in desperate need of re-homing who have specific problems and challenges as a result of their time in captivity. By providing these special animals with a loving and safe forever home and telling their stories we hope to motivate our visitors to turn their concern for wildlife and the environment into confident action.

Our role is now more critical than ever as we confront the realities of widespread animal exploitation and extinction.

Our role is now more critical than ever as we confront the realities of widespread animal exploitation and extinction. We want the Sanctuary, its community of supporters, and the Isle of Wight to be at the frontline of the protection of endangered animals and the move to treat all animals with compassion. If we are successful, then today’s generation of children will be amongst the last to need to see wild animals living outside of their natural environments.”

The announcement comes at a time when people are still deeply impacted by the global pandemic which has highlighted the imbalances in nature that threaten both animal and human life. The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary will shine a light on the vulnerability of the natural world while demonstrating solutions which really make a difference.

Lawrence Bates, Chief Operating Officer of the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, added:

“The Sanctuary provides an immersive and stimulating day out and is a chance to see some of the most remarkable, yet threatened, animals on our planet, including our latest arrivals Daenerys, Nymeria and Tyrion, a family of Eurasian lynx who found themselves in dire straits and in desperate need of a new home.

And yet our hope is that the Sanctuary offers much more than just a fleeting visit. It is an opportunity to make transformative connections to nature through meeting our wonderful animals in the flesh. Our role is to get people thinking, when they go home, about the meaningful changes they can make to their lives to help improve the well-being of animals and the health of our planet.”

In line with government guidelines, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary is scheduled to re-open to the public on 12th April. In order to comply with social distancing regulations there will be a cap on numbers and we recommend visitors book in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available at www.wildheartanimalsanctuary.org