Care home residents have a hoot

Residents of a care home have had a real hoot thanks to a visit from staff of an owl rescue charity.

The feathered friends dropped in on Highfield House, part of the Pendine Park care organisation, in Wrexham.

The visit by Pam Toothill, and her son Steve Boswell, who run Corwen-based North Wales Owl Sanctuary, was organised by Pendine Park Activities Manager Gerry Humphreys.

Gerry explained the residents had asked that Pam and Steve to come to Pendine Park after seeing the birds of prey on a trip to Oswestry Show.

She said: “Many of our residents were fascinated by the owls when we saw them in Oswestry and were really keen to invite them along to Highfield House.

“Residents from the Bryn Bella and Penybryn care homes also came along to see the owls.

Pam Toothill said the visit had been really worthwhile and she had enjoyed seeing residents interacting with the owls.

She said: “Many of the residents were clearly delighted to see the owls up close and to listen to our message of owl conservation.

“It’s always lovely to see someone who has never handled a bird of prey, such as an owl, before. Many of the residents were very comfortable and clearly enjoyed the experience.”

Highfield manager Tracey Smith said: “The talk by Pam and Steve was fascinating and everyone that wanted to handle the birds, and was capable of doing so, had the chance to slip on a leather glove and hold them. And it was clear they all thoroughly enjoyed it.

“These talks and sessions are all about giving those residents who want to experience something new, the opportunity to do so. Residents aren’t forced to come to any activity, it’s entirely up to them if they want to come along or not.

“However, the room as absolutely packed for Pam and Steve’s enlightening talk and I think we all learned a lot about the current plight of owls.”

Resident Bernadette Ologoulin enjoyed meeting Cheeky Chops, a Rufus Legged Owl which sat on her arm.

She said: “It’s lovely and I can see where it gets it’s name from, it really is  a cheeky looking owl. It’s been brilliant to see the owls and have them sit on your arm.”

Pam Toothill explained to Bernadette that Cheeky Chops was a the offspring of a pair of Rufus Legged Owls seized from a breeder who had mistreated them.

Bryn Bella resident Emma Locker, originally from Farndon, said it was an amazing experience.

She said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. I never thought I be so close to an owl. It’s fantastic to have one sat on your hand. It’s one of the best activities we have had and I‘m glad they gave me a leather glove to wear looking at how sharp it‘s claws are!”

Penybryn resident Mark Corner agreed and said: “It has been something very different and I have really enjoyed being with the owls and being allowed to handle them.

“I enjoy the activities we have here but this has been one of the best. The owls were really amazing.”

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