Bembridge’s Ryde Academy Teacher Wins National Competition to Create New Tiger Toy

A teacher from Bembridge won a nationwide competition to create a new tiger toy for Sandown’s Wild Animal Sanctuary.

This summer, the Sandown site partnered with Airtasker The UK will launch a nationwide search for a new lead toy maker for tigers Antonella, Natasha and Zoppa.

There would have been fantastic locations from all over the world, but the standout contestant was right under their noses – Bembridge’s Alastair Nye (pictured below).

Alastair is a Ryde Academy teacher and hobby carpenter who wowed them with his vision and ideas to create a bespoke enrichment toy.

He visited the sanctuary to meet Antonella, Natasha and Zoppa and attend a big cat enrichment experience before having a briefing with Marc Fox, Animal Manager and Animal Sitter Sandra.

Alastair left the sanctuary with clear ideas on how he can use his carpentry skills to create an amazing and unique toy for tigers.

Marc Foxx, Animal Manager at Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, said:

“We can’t thank Airtasker UK enough for helping us find Alastair, even though it was right under our noses from the start! He was the standout contender and just figured out exactly what we were looking for and we had a great creative meeting yesterday.

“Tigers are powerful and smart at the same time, so a toy needs to be sturdy and well-built so that it doesn’t get destroyed in a matter of minutes, but it also needs to have a problem-solving element. We can’t reveal anything about our final design we’re working on, but we know our visitors will love watching Antonella, Zoppa and Natasha play with their new enrichment toy.

Alastair added:

“I use the Airtasker platform frequently, but had to do a double take when I saw the animal sanctuary just around the corner from my workshop looking for a DIY enthusiast to create a custom toy for their tigers – can’t think of a cooler job! I was so happy to win the competition and it was great to see the tigers up close and meet the team. I can’t wait to walk into the workshop and start building their new toy.

You can follow Alastair’s progress on our social media as he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

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