AN ANIMAL-lover had the surprise of his life when his care home in Stratford was transformed into a zoo for the day.
When Tony Bartlett told his care team at Ambleside care home that his wish was to see animals up close they immediately set to work to make his wish come true.
The 67-year-old was amazed when corn snakes, a tortoise, chinchilla, skunk, bull frog and larger than life rabbit all dropped by for a visit.
He was delighted to be able to get up close with the animals and stroke them. A lifelong animal-lover, the chinchilla was a firm favourite.
The visit was part of the home’s ‘Wishing Tree’ Initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward, allowing them to reconnect with a past hobby or try something completely new – from flying on a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper. No wish is too big or small.
When Tony was growing up, his home was filled with animals for as long as he could remember, which is where his love for animals was born – from breeding European birds, to owning multiple dogs throughout his life.
Tony is an expert when it comes to animals great and small and believes that ‘you look after them and they will look after you’.
The animals were brought into the home by Animal Mania, and are friendly, relaxed creatures which are used to human contact.
Tony said: “It was an amazing day and I enjoyed seeing all the animals, in particular the chinchilla as it was so soft to touch. The day made me feel very special – thank you to the team for making it possible.”