Southern Enterprise Awards 2023

Formerly known as the Isle of Wight Zoo, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary was established in the 1950s as a privately owned zoo. Over the years it has been rebuilt and become a sanctuary for big cats, primates, and other exotic species. In 2017, it became a registered charity and underwent a complete rebrand in 2021 to reflect its core mission, which is to rescue animals and optimise their power as ambassadors to campaign for positive change. The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary believes that education and conservation go hand-in-hand with providing a lifelong home to the beautiful animals it rescues, which have often been neglected or abused. The organisation does not breed animals, instead its approach is focused on rescuing and caring for those that are in desperate need of re-homing. A number of these creatures are burdened by challenging psychological and physical issues that have resulted from their time under the care of humans. The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary provides them with a forever home where they will always receive the care they need. The animals that have been rescued by the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary serve as ambassadors for those in the wild, showing humans across the world how important it is to regenerate their lost habitats. At the centre of the Sanctuary’s brand and identity are a tiger and a heart, which represent strength and kindness. These symbols are a key to the organisation’s continued efforts to tell animals’ stories and fight their cause. Through its work, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary hopes to create a future where animals can live freely in their natural habitats. To this end, the organisation strives to research, rescue, rehabilitate and actively participates in conservation initiatives on the Island and beyond. Situated on the east coast of the Isle of Wight, overlooking Sandown Bay, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary welcomes visitors from across the world. It works hard to provide them with a relaxed setting in which they can appreciate and connect with the animals they encounter. Whilst its focus is on animals, the Sanctuary is also committed to supporting people and communities. In recent years, it has provided many opportunities for S.E.N.D groups, holiday clubs, gardening clubs, and those with lower incomes to visit and learn about the animals. By opening its doors to the public, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary aims to not only showcase the beautiful animals that are in desperate need of protection, but also demonstrate how sustainable systems can work symbiotically to regenerate and support the planet. Through this, it seeks to change visitors’ perception of their place in the natural world, encouraging them to feel a part of it. Currently, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in the UK that offers refuge to exotic rescues of any kind. No other organisation tackles as many rescue issues across a range of species. Carrying out some incredible work, the Sanctuary strives to ensure that its impact is not limited by the confines of physical space, but rather reaches a global audience through digital communication. For its outstanding work, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary has been awarded Wildlife Animal Sanctuary of the Year, Isle of Wight, in the Southern Enterprise Awards 2023. With such a prestigious accolade under its belt, there is no doubt that the organisation looks towards a bright future as it continues to work towards its goals. Contact: Lee Saudan Company: Wildheart Animal Sanctuary Web Address: Located on the Isle of Wight, the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary rescues animals from suffering and provides them with a safe environment in which they can recover and rehabilitate. Its goal is to care for these animals and optimise their power as ambassadors for those in the wild, drawing attention to the harsh realities of animal abuse to drive legislative change. The Sanctuary envisions a world without animal cruelty where people are committed to protecting wildlife. Wildlife Animal Sanctuary of the Year 2023 - Isle of Wight