Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, Sandown: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Wildheart Animal Sanctuary Reviews: 4/5

Wildheart Animal Sanctuary
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
At the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary we look forward to welcoming you to meet our wonderful animals for an immersive and stimulating visit. You will meet some of the most exciting, yet threatened animals on our planet, including Tigers, Lions, Meerkats, Lynx, Reptiles and much more. The Sanctuary rescues many of its inhabitants from poor and inhumane conditions around Europe. There are daily talks from our Animal Carers and also animal encounters to help you have the opportunity to get up close and hands-on with our animal residents. You will discover and learn about the journeys of how the animals came to the Sanctuary and their vital role in championing the cause for their species in the wild overseas. There is a large animal playground to tire the little ones out. Enjoy delicious, fresh and local food and drink from our Wildheart Café overlooking Sandown Bay. Or you can picnic in the company of our Capuchin and Spider monkeys!
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.0
2,955 reviews
Excellent
1,442
Very good
779
Average
404
Poor
184
Terrible
147

Scottington
England, UK231 contributions
Impressive giant cats!
Oct 2021
While coming to the end of our holiday on the island we decided to visit the sanctuary. We arrived just in time for the tiger feeding and were surprised with just how big they were up close!
The enclosures are large for all the animals and we could tell there was quite a lot of building work happening as well, hopefully all for a good cause.
One of the lions was very talkative and you could here its roar from across the sanctuary!
Written November 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tiger Queen
3 contributions
Parking fine scam
Aug 2021
My gripe is with the car park as well
I got hit with a £100 charge after taking my friend for a day out after his mum died.
None of this money goes to help the animal conservation, it’s just going to a profiteering private security company.
I’m really disgusted with the animal sanctuary allowing this.
Bullies do not deserve to profiteer from a ‘charity’.
Written November 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are sorry to hear you received a fine following your visit to our sanctuary. We can assure you it is not a scam and The Wildheart Trust receives no money from the car park which is privately owned. The sanctuary does not have any say in the matter and it isn’t a case of us allowing it to happen, it is simply a private car park that serves the local area. We make it clear with our signage that people need to pay for parking and offer a reduced rate for sanctuary visitors as well as free parking for blue badge holders and our members.
Written November 25, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

C C B
Bath, UK2 contributions
DO NOT VISIT, BASICALLY A ZOO NOT A SANCTUARY
Nov 2021
This may be called an animal 'sanctuary', but that is far from how it feels. The animals appeared very depressed, especially the monkeys and big cats. Many of the animals arrived at the 'sanctuary' from rescue centres, which implies to me that this zoo purchases rescue animals to display to the public and call it rescuing. If animals have been rescued, why send them to an institution with tiny enclosures and a lack of enthusiasm to cheer up the animals from the staff. Some other animals were bred to be at the zoo, while other animals came from other zoos. Although the big cats were rescued from circuses (which I support, as they would have been abused) they had such small enclosures. These cages were so small that they were unable to build up any speed to exercise appropriately, and they were either laying down or pacing the edges of the enclosures looking depressed. The staff made no real effort to give the animals company. They are currently building a new part to this zoo, which was being advertised as something good for appearances not for the sake of the animals. They should be putting money into expanding the enclosures that are already there.

Before visiting an 'animal sanctuary' I like to do my research so I am not putting money into something that won't help these animals. However, there is a lack of negative reviews about the conditions that these animals are kept in. If an institution is to call itself a 'sanctuary', rescuing the animals is no good if they are going to continue being kept in depressing situations. More needs to be done to help improve these animals' quality of life, such as using profits to improve enclosure conditions rather than a new building that will look nice. Additionally, more information needs to be available to visitors about what they do with profits to help these animals.
Written November 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear CJB19012 Thank you for taking the time to review our wildlife sanctuary but we do want to clear up some of your concerns and criticisms. You mention that there is a lack of negative reviews and we believe this is because the overwhelming majority of visitors and supporters appreciate the work we do for animal welfare and conservation. The love, attention and expertise the whole team here commit to providing first rate care for our rescued animals is clear for all to see. We work with our main rescue partner AAP in Holland who have an outstanding reputation across Europe. Our long-standing alliance allows us to provide forever homes for animals that AAP have rescued from often horrendous conditions and we work so hard to provide the very best habitats, enrichment and stimulation for them to enjoy their new life with us. We are so excited about the new Primate Rescue Facility you mention we are building. It will be a world class, sustainably built centre that will give our primates access to a twelve metre high rainforest canopy. There will be nothing like it on the island and we know it will wow our visitors but the greatest beneficiaries will be the lemurs and monkeys who inhabit it. The welfare and quality of life we provide for our animals is always our number one priority and at the heart of everything we do here at our sanctuary by the sea. Best wishes The Wildheart Team
Written November 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Glen504216
Bognor Regis, UK342 contributions
Need our support in these hard times
Oct 2021
Enjoyed our visit to the Sanctuary. Staff were lovely and the talks were well worth listening to especially the Lion talk. Sad that people have treated these animal in such a poor way that they need rescuing. A lot of work going on to improve the pens etc but we spent a very happy 3 hours there. Such places need support and they deserve it. Please go if you can.
Written November 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jennifer K
9 contributions
Great few hours out with the family
Nov 2021 • Family
Family of four with a 3 & 5 year old. We had a great few hours. Seeing the lions & tigers was amazing. Actually quite intimidating being so close to the lions! We had a great time &the kids play area was fantastic.
Written November 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amanda
2 contributions
Not what it used to be
Nov 2021 • Family
So so sad to see what used to be a thriving zoo become an overgrown dull place. After visiting the island every year of my childhood I was so excited to show my child this wonderful place, after seeing on its website what it's now become! A sanctuary for animals in need. We precooked our tickets, we arrived just before 11am, when we got to the counter we were "greeted" by a miserable lady who clearly just wanted rid so she could continue whatever it was she was doing. We walked through and having 2 children thought best to do a toilet trip.....so badly signposted!! All that dominated the area were construction fences and workmen. To the map!! This showed numerous big cats!! Exactly what the zoo used to be renowned for!! We headed down. First two lionesses, fantastic!! Then tigers.....blocked by workmen so you can't walk round. Over to the wallabys the shabby fence meant the children couldn't see. So many empty run down overgrown pens. We then found the lion and his lioness, in the wrong pen and another empty one. There is also a couple of monkeys some goats a pig and a few reptiles!! Honestly the magnificence this zoo once was is so sad now, if this is a sanctuary for animals I feel sorry for them. The information on each pen isn't for the animals in them, the map and website aren't correct and the staff are miserable!! For a place that relies on donations it needs to go and visit monkey haven or falconry centre to see how it should be done!
Written November 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Amanda We are very sorry to hear about your disappointing visit and for not living up to the memories from your childhood. We had just commenced on a major project to build a new Primate Rescue Facility opening in Spring 2022 and clearly the building works had a major detrimental impact on your visit and we can only apologise wholeheartedly for that. We have taken all your points on board, reviewed and amended our signage and reduced our prices while the main part of the work is completed. Hopefully at some point in the future we will get another chance to wow you and hopefully rekindle some of those childhood memories.
Written November 18, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phiip P
Leighton Buzzard, UK299 contributions
Big Cats
Oct 2021 • Couples
Formally the Isle of Wight zoo this sanctuary is situated inside an old fort on the Sandown sea front. There is a large car park but you have to pay a £3 fee as the car park is not owned by the zoo. The main draw here for us was the Tigers and Lions all of which had been rescued from circuses and the like. The enclosures were quite large for them and they all looked quite content. There are also plenty of other animals to see here and again all the staff were friendly and knowledgeable. We did not use the cafe and the shop was well stocked. They do a £1 return visit within seven days also, which we took full advantage of. I definitely recommend a visit here
Written October 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JDKT10
15 contributions
Great day out
Oct 2021
Lovely place to visit, the work they do to help the animals is fantastic, the talks are very interesting and worth listening to, the staff are friendly, cafe is worth a visit, clean site. We always visit the zoo when on the IOW to help support the great work they do, plus we love seeing the animals and how well they progress from when they first come to the zoo to how they grow in confidence and become and behave how a wild animal should.
Written October 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JDKT10
2 contributions
Great day out
Oct 2021
We visit the zoo every time we go to the IOW, it is great to see the valuable work they do and the talks about the animals are very interesting, providing a history of their life before their forever home. KUMBA & VIGO lions we saw when they had not long arrived in Feb 19, our visit March 19. We saw them again last year and Oct 21, the difference and improvement in them was wonderful to see, this is due to the great love and hard work of the staff. From curled up together looking scared back in 2019 to now, full of confidence, relaxed and looking great. The work they do is so valuable and great, the zoo is lovely to go and see, worth a visit and defiantly to support these lovely animals, we visited the cafe, lovely service and food. Can also recommend the big cat experience, brought for my daughters 30th Birthday, she loved it, really great experience. I have put the visit length as 3 hours plus as you can make a day of it with talks, food etc.
Written October 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paula W
Surrey, UK139 contributions
Great Animal Sanctuary
Sep 2021
Lovely place to spend a couple of hours. Very good value for money and reassuring to know that the money goes to such a good cause, helping to rescue and care for these animals.
Cafe is a good place to stop for a snack or lunch. Highly recommend a visit here, I will definitely be returning.
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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