Recently, whilst on a short break with my family, I discovered the Owl and Monkey Haven on the Isle of Wight. The haven specialises in the care of birds and monkeys which, for one reason or another, can not be released into the wild.
I must admit, when we first arrived I thought we would not be there for more than an hour or so. It is not a very large sanctuary, but we actually ended up spending most of the day there and we really enjoyed every minute.
Many of the enclosures are relatively new, with more being built. The animals look to be in good health and well looked after. The entire centre is in excellent condition and kept very clean and tidy.
There is a cafe in the visitors centre with indoor and outdoor tables and seating.
There is also a children's play area which my six year old daughter spent some time in, but she was really interested in seeing - and hearing - the birds and monkeys. We were very lucky to be there when the monkeys decided to sing us all a song! It was amazing, I have never heard anything like it before.
There were several talks though the day by the keepers and they were very good not only at talking about each of the different owls and monkeys, but also in involving the children and answering questions. They certainly had some very peculiar questions to deal with from some of the kids!
As you can see, they also brought a couple of owls out and gave everyone a great opportunity to get really close to these magnificent birds.
If you are on the Isle of Wight, or just near Portsmouth and fancy a good day out, then I really recommend visiting. Your entry fee helps fund the great work that is being done there and I really hope they can raise the money they need for some of their projects. This is certainly one of the best wildlife parks I have been to and I am sure you won't be disappointed.
I mentioned earlier about the monkeys singing. I'm not a videographer (as will shortly become obvious), but to give you a taste of what we heard here are a few clips I recorded on my iPhone. It started with just one or two monkeys in one enclosure, but soon others joined in until eventually it seemed like they were all singing along!
As much as I hate the idea of keeping any animal in a cage, they are very well looked after at the haven. They have excellent facilities and they certainly seem to be very happy indeed.