Creating a European-First Primate Rescue Facility on the Isle of Wight
We are about to build two new giant bamboo domes at the Sanctuary that will become our new Primate Rescue Facility and we need your help. The pioneering technologies involved and sheer scale of our vision for this project will put our sanctuary and the Isle of Wight at the fore front of primate rescue and conservation in the UK today. Make no mistake about it, this is the biggest and most significant project in our history and we cannot wait to make our bold vision a reality.
This new sustainably build walk through primate facility will be the first design of its kind in Europe, and the only bamboo walk through enclosure in Britain today. Marrying contemporary design and traditional materials with cutting edge technologies in construction, we will create a leading centre for primate rescue and conservation. The build will feature two giant domes and allow our primates continuous access to a high rainforest canopy that mirrors the natural habitat of many of our primates.
Visitors will be able to take a trail that recreates the flora, fauna and wildlife communities of many of the countries our primates originate from – demonstrating the realities of the conservation crisis that threatens our planet’s ecosystem.
Work gets underway on the project this autumn and with a fair wind and strong work ethic we hope to open our new Primate Rescue Facility in time for Easter 2022. The time scale is tight but we never shy away from a challenge and with your help we are confident we can rise to it.
The Government's Kept Animal Bill
The introduction of the governments kept animal bill will lead to many primates needing refuge and sanctuary in the coming years. This is where we, the Wildheart Trust, come in and our part in the campaign begins. Our ground breaking new facility will give the sanctuary the space to be involved in this vital mission and support the rescue of primates that have been kept in often sub-standard conditions as pets around the UK.
We currently have primate species which originate from Africa and across regions of Central and South America. These include spider monkeys, capuchins, vervet and marmosets but our new Primate Rescue Facility will provide potential to react to a greater number of rescues in the future.
Initially our ground breaking new facility will support and house our families of lemurs. Lemurs originate from Madagascar and are on the brink of being wiped off the face of the planet with 94% of their species threatened with extinction. If this continues without intervention then they will become the first entire group of mammals to be lost forever. There will be no way back.
One of our biggest supporters is Dame Judi Dench and she has fallen in love with our ring tailed lemur Tsingy who has been at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary since 2004. Tsingy means "to tiptoe" and Judi sends him a birthday card every year.
Dame Judi said: "For me the joy of walking round the wonderful Wildheart Animal Sanctuary is to reach the lemur enclosure and be reunited with my great friend Tsingy.” Dame Judi has kindly offered to open our new Primate Rescue Centre when it opens next year.
The Wildheart Trust
The Wildheart Trust is a dynamic young charity based on the Isle of Wight with a strong local heritage dating back to 1976. We are dedicated to rescuing vulnerable animals from horrendous conditions around Europe, offering them refuge and the chance to flourish in our animal sanctuary by the sea in Sandown.
The animals here are ambassadors for the Trust’s campaigns to stop animal cruelty and preserve natural habitats that are under threat of annihilation. Globally we fight to secure the future of some of the world’s most threatened species. We are creating a story of hope and redemption.
Recent rescues include lions from beast wagons in Spain, tigers found in horrendous conditions in Italy and servals who were found with broken legs in a bathroom in France, to name but a few.
We’re a close-knit family of volunteers, staff and trustees who get out of bed every day determined to make a difference to the lives of emotionally and physically broken animals.
"We rescue animals that have endured horrific conditions throughout the course of their lives.”
Chris Packham, Trustee
As a young and ambitious charity we need your support to make our bold vision a reality. We know that this project will create a unique visitor experience that will hold national attention while doing so much to support vulnerable primates. It will be an informative and educational resource for schools, colleges and universities and by creating a walk through habitat, the dome will allow our many visitors to immersed 3 dimensionally in our primates lives get close to our primates in a way that has not been possible before.
Please give what you can because every penny we raise will go to helping some of the most vulnerable creatures on our planet while creating a bold and ambitious new Primate Rescue Facility Facilityfor the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary and for our wonderful island.