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Animals at Paultons Park

Our Animals

Paultons is home to all sorts of wonderful creatures. Come and marvel at the tropical birds, explore Little Africa or watch one of our informative keeper talks.

Zoo Mission

To provide our guests with positive educational and engaging experiences that will create and inspire lifelong respect for animals, and conservation of the natural world.

Conservation Work

Breeding Programmes

Paultons Park supports the conservation of species at risk by working collaboratively with other zoos and contributing to managed breeding programmes. In this way zoos work towards a common goal of preserving the genetic diversity of species in zoos to safeguard populations in the wild.

Threatened species that Paulton’s Park successfully breed include:

  • Edwards’s pheasant
  • Humboldt penguin
  • Java sparrow
  • Palawan peacock pheasant
  • Sun conure

Animal Records

Our animal keepers record lots of information every day including animal behaviours, enrichment, and training. Our records are kept on ZIMS (Zoological Information Management Software) which is the world’s most comprehensive source of information on animals and their environments for zoos and related organisations. This sophisticated system of record keeping facilitates collaboration between zoos in the collection and sharing of information to improve animal care and welfare, and is vital to the success of regional and global breeding programmes.

On site Conservation

We encourage local wildlife by providing wildlife-friendly areas such as log piles, ‘bug hotels’, and nest boxes for birds and bats. Paultons Park has over 100 acres of woodland that provides a haven for numerous wild plants and animals. The 10-acre lake is home to many species of insect and bird and is a common stop off point for birds on migration. The Cadnam river running through the site supports both otters and sea trout, and you will find a sea trout and eel ladder installed on a weir near the watermill that facilitates safe passage for both species further upstream.

Himalayan Balsam

For several years Paultons Park has provided access to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to help stop the spread of the invasive non-native Himalayan balsam, which is invading river banks in the New Forest and threatening our native wildlife and ecosystems.


Paultons Park donates annually to the following conservation charities:


Humboldt penguins on the coasts of Chile and Peru are threatened by overfishing, climate change, direct hunting, guano mining, egg collection, and marine pollution. Sphenisco monitor and protect wild populations and breeding colonies of Humboldt penguins, and campaign for the prohibition of fishing with gill nets and dynamite, and to create marine protection areas. They work with local communities in areas of environmental education and raise awareness of global threats to penguin species in partnership with zoological associations and establishments.

Mabula Ground Hornbill Project

Wild populations of Southern ground-hornbills are declining because of human actions. These include habitat loss from deforestation, overgrazing and agricultural activities, and electrocution from powerlines, accidental poisoning, and direct persecution. The Mabula Ground Hornbill Project works to slow the decline through awareness campaigns, providing artificial nests, and rearing chicks for reintroduction.

Paultons Park has also made donations to the following organisations:

APOPO Hero Rats: APOPO train giant pouched rats to detect land mines to speed up clearance. They also train detection rats to test human samples for tuberculosis. A TB detection rat can check 100 samples in 20 minutes – a lab technician would typically take up to 4 days!

The Great Bustard Group: A UK charity working to reintroduce the species to the UK and to promote its interests throughout its range.

Collection Boxes

Paultons Park supports the following charities by collecting donations:

  • Sphensico (conservation of Humboldt penguins)
  • World Pheasant Association (conservation of Galliformes)
  • World Parrot Trust (protecting wild parrot populations and improving captive parrot care)
Enrichment and Training

All our animals are offered a variety of different enrichment. This is important as it helps keeps them mentally stimulated and encourages natural behaviours.

Our animal keepers also spend time training some of the species we have at the park. This improves animal welfare and can make things like health checks much easier.


Animal Education


Educating our visitors about wildlife, their habitat, related conservation issues and the ways in which we can contribute to their preservation is extremely important to us. We offer daily Humboldt Penguin and Meerkat talks, giving visitors the chance to learn about these amazing species and see them up close and personal.


Wildlife Activities

Here at Paultons Park we have many wildlife-rich zones, including large areas of precious New Forest wet woodland habitat that contains lots of native invertebrates including beetles, butterflies, ladybirds, woodlice, snails, and millipedes. You may have seen two large bug hotels located on our discovery trail.

Bugs are essential to maintain balanced ecosystems; they clean up the environment, pollinate flowers, create and maintain soil, and provide food for birds, fish and other animals.

You can help bugs and minibeasts in your gardens by building them their very own bug hotel! They will find shelter in all types of small cracks and crevices but sometimes they need a little extra help. Using upcycled materials is a really easy way to do this.

(Tap on the image above to enlarge) 


  • Choose an appropriate site that is level. The material should be strong and durable.
  • Old pallets can be a good start point, as they have ready-made gaps to add other materials to it.
  • You can build several layers depending on how much material you have.
  • Always remember to add a roof to the structure to keep everything dry!
  • They can be as small as you like. Even a tiny hotel will attract plenty of wildlife.
  • Log/stick piles can be another great way to attract wildlife to your garden.

Work Experience


Thank you for showing an interest in work experience. There are a few things you need to think about before you apply.

  • Working with our animals is a very popular choice for work experience and we will be unable to accommodate everybody that applies.
  • You must be aged 17 or over and be working towards an animal related qualification.
  • Working in a zoo can be very physically demanding so a level of fitness is important.
  • You will be expected to attend an interview before being successful in your application.


  • Working alongside our experienced animal keepers you will be carrying out general animal husbandry task including cleaning enclosures, providing fresh food and water, food preparation and offering enrichment.
  • General tasks including washing up, sweeping, and mopping.
  • Please be aware that most of your day will be spent cleaning up after the animals and not interacting with them.