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Snakes alive!

Chiswick Nursing Centre residents had a close encounter of a most unusual kind when a veritable menagerie of reptiles, including snakes and chameleons, turned up on their doorstep.

The creatures were accompanied by expert ‘minders’ from Darwin’s Kingdom, an organisation that specialises in animal experiences and education. Their aim is to enable people to learn more about the natural world and some of the exotic and endangered species that live there.

All of the animals are very used to people and happy to be handled so what followed was a session of wonder and discovery. Residents had the chance to touch and hold animals they would never previously have got close to.

“I’ve never even seen a chameleon before, let alone touch one. It was really rather exciting and not at all frightening,” said one of the residents.

Darwin’s Kingdom has recently begun using interaction with the animals to help tackle dementia. This has already proven to reduce agitation, boredom and anxiety as well as to encourage communication and socialisation.

A stimulating and enjoyable time was had by all.