Penguins return to Oxfordshire

Residents at a care home in Oxfordshire recently received a visit from some exotic guests.

Pringle and Groot were given a warm welcome when they visited Churchfields Care Home in Cassington, from a private zoo. 

Studies have shown that caring for an animal has proven health benefits. With this in mind, residents were able to pick up, cuddle and stroke the fish-loving birds, that were given free rein to waddle around the home.

Stephanie Eley, manager at Churchfields Care Home, comments: “It was such a joy to see how the residents reacted to the penguins, as they were completely surprised. 

“The penguins were so friendly, and we know how beneficial animal therapy can be for older people, especially for those living with dementia.”

Residents at the care home regularly enjoy visits from animals, including ‘pat dogs’. Tony, a resident at Churchfields Care Home, says: “What an experience! I was so overwhelmed to be so close to a real penguin.” Another resident, Michael comments: “Very successful morning, I really enjoyed myself.”

The penguins live in a specially constructed enclosure, including a swimming pool, pebbled beach and penguin house at Heythrop Zoo in Chipping Norton. Originating from South America, the animals are used to warm weather and can adjust to different environments.

Churchfields Care Home is set in the peaceful village of Cassington and offers residential, nursing and dementia care. There are a variety of living spaces and quiet areas, as well as a large, landscaped garden.