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 Owl Adventures a hoot for Ripon’s elderly

Owl Adventures a hoot for Ripon’s elderly

By 25th January, 2024 Press Releases No Comments

A HOOT of a time was had by elderly care home residents in Ripon when a parliament of owls paid them a visit for an innovative animal therapy session.

Residents at Sycamore Hall Care Home, on Kearsley Road, welcomed their feathered friends from Owl Adventures, a Yorkshire-based falconry and mobile zoo.

Guests included Willow the pygmy owl, Juno the barn owl, Eva the Canadian great horned owl, and Maverick the Harris hawk.

During the animal-assisted therapy session, resident Celia Berry, 75, recalled how an owl used to visit her garden and Margaret Smith, 87, commented on how beautiful the birds were.

June Carling, 87, said: “Owls are my favourite animal. I have a lovely big picture of one in my room, so it was wonderful to see them face-to-face.”

Animal-assisted therapy sessions are a powerful way to raise residents’ spirits, tackle feelings of loneliness, and boost wellbeing, according to Sycamore Hall Care Home activities coordinator Jill Scaife.

She said: “You only need to watch the residents interacting with the birds and hear them speaking about it afterwards, to their loved ones and the carers, to see what an impact such a session has.

“Residents were amazed at how Maverick flew between staff members outstretched arms. But everyone’s favourite was getting the chance to hold little Willow the pygmy owl. Everyone wanted to keep him.

“Thank you so much to Ryan from Owl Adventures for giving everyone a fantastic experience. His talk about the owls and raptors was fascinating for everyone.

“We will be running more animal-assisted therapy sessions in future and hopefully we can have Ryan, Willow, Eva, and Maverick back at the care home one day.”

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