A MENAGERIE including exotic reptiles and birds visited elderly care home residents to provide companionship and smiles.
Kirkleatham Owl Centre, in Redcar, helped residents at Hazelgrove Court Care Home make some unlikely friends during their visit.
The home, on Randolph Street, Saltburn, welcomed a host of creatures such as snakes, tarantulas and tortoises.
Tina Temple, home manager at Hazelgrove Court Care Home, said: “It was wonderful to see the residents interacting with the animals.
“The big hit of the day was the skinny pigs, which are hairless guinea pigs.
“None of the residents had ever seen them before and they wanted us to adopt them immediately.
“We already have chickens, budgies and fish living at Hazelgrove Court so, unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of room for skinny pigs too.”
Animal therapy is widely used in residential homes to provide stimulation and friendship to help tackle loneliness. They can also support those with mental and physical health conditions such as autism, dementia and strokes as part of their therapeutic treatment.
Resident Joyce Baxtrum said: “The owl was my favourite because its feathers were so soft. The skinny pigs are so ugly but beautiful in their own way.”