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Mavis and team and penguin

When 85-year-old Care UK resident Mavis told her care team her biggest wish was to see penguins little did she realise she would get to meet one!

The close encounter with her feathered friend, which took place at Highmarket House in Banbury, was made to happen through Care UK’s Wishing Tree initiative.

Jo Pohl, home manager at Highmarket House, said: “At our care home with a difference we always like to go the extra-mile for residents, and make their wishes come true – no matter how unusual. Mavis has always talked about penguins with passion, so we were really excited to be able to make her dream of seeing them up close come true.

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“We don’t accept that life at a care home has to be a particular way – we ensure there are no limitations to activities residents pursue and help them to lead independent, fulfilling lives, however they choose.

“Each day at our care home is different and fun, but today was something extraordinary. It was a truly wonderful moment when Mavis met the penguins and certainly created a stir in the home – we’ll be talking about this for weeks!”

Mavis was amazed when the hand-reared Humboldt penguins, Pringle and Charlie, waddled into the room. She was delighted to interact with the penguins, stroking and even holding Charlie on her lap.

The penguins, which were brought into the home by Amazing Animals, are friendly, relaxed and used to human contact. They live in a specially constructed enclosure, including a swimming pool, pebbled beach and penguin house at Heythrop Zoological Gardens, and are kept together in a breeding group to ensure regular social interactions.

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The author Lee Peart

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