Larkrise Care Centre in Prescott Close, were visited by Malcolm and Tia, a pair of Squirrel Monkeys with their handlers Aaron and Molly from Chipping Norton’s Amazing Animals.
The visit was part of a wider scheme by the Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) who run the home to beat the January blues and give the residents an experience they won’t forget.
Home manager, Lyndsay Sard, said: “People have done donkeys and penguins so we wanted to come up with something that the residents would be excited about.
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“We already have a number of resident animals here at Larkrise including our rescue cat, rabbits and budgies, but it was so exciting to see these exotic visitors today.
“We arranged it about a month ago and residents have been really looking forward to. As you can see everyone has turned up. We have even had staff and their children say they are going to come by on their days off.
She added: “It was a very special experience that we’ll all be talking about for some time.”
The monkeys are no stranger to public meet and greets and are docile by nature and extremely inquisitive. Nine year old Tia had learnt the ropes from Malcolm, who at 24 years old was 100 in monkey years.
In the wild squirrel monkeys live to around 15 years of age.
Aside from its novelty value the visit also stirred long forgotten memories with the residents, a key in keeping the mind active and slowing the progression of dementia among the elderly.
One resident, Christine, said it brought back lots of memories of trips to the zoo with her husband.
“We used to go to see the monkeys all the time and my husband loved it. He would have loved to see these ones today. They are so friendly and calm.
“It’s just wonderful.”