RESIDENTS at a Ramsbottom care home heard the call of the wild this week as they were visited by some adorable and unusual animals.

A number of furry guests made their way to the Lavender Hills care home, including Oreo the raccoon as well as skunks, a meerkat, an armadillo and lots more.

The cuddly critters, who had travelling from Oreo and Friends in Sheffield, were on their best behaviour and proved very popular with residents who petted and fed them.

One resident, June Wright, said: “They were wonderful. one of the best afternoons I’ve ever had. I love all animals.”

Harold, a 96-year-old Second World War veteran, added: “The animals were lovely to stroke and they made me smile.

“I’ve seen skunks and an Armadillo before, it many many years ago. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.”

Lavender Hills regularly organises different experiences for residents.

Among the most popular are the frequent visits from animals including donkeys and owls, which staff say can have huge benefits for older people.

Nickie Brooks, Lavender Hills’ activities organiser, said: “The Animals were so friendly and well behaved, we know just how beneficial animal therapy can be for older people.

“Being close to animals can help lift a person’s mood, stimulate social interaction and ease agitation.

“The animals bring a whole new atmosphere to the home and many of our residents have looked after pets for many years before they came in to Lavender Hills, so it brings back wonderful memories for them.”

Oreo and friends visit to lavender Hills was just the latest set up by the homes award winning activities team lead by Ms Brooks and Gaynor Hall.

Last year the team organised for the grandmother Mary Bell to live one of her lifelong dreams and fly a plane for her 100th birthday.

They also arranged a huge 1930s themed birthday party for Mrs Bell and a 1940s themed diamond wedding anniversary party for residents Margaret and Bill Jones.