Oxfordshire care home welcomes reptiles in unusual visit

A reptile-loving 85-year-old had her wish come true when her care home welcomed three scaly visitors.

Pauline Wooliams, from Witney, Oxfordshire, got to grips with stroking and feeding a crocodile, bearded dragon and a reticulated python.

The reptiles were brought to the home as part of Care UK's Wishing Tree initiative. 

The mother-of-four is used to reptiles, as her children had them as pets while growing up. 

After visiting Crocodiles of the World in Brize Norton with her grandchildren five years ago, the memory stuck and she was keen to see the animals up close again.

Care UK's Wishing Tree initiative encourages residents to reconnect with past hobbies or explore something new.

"I enjoyed the day very much," Ms Wooliams said. "It brought back many memories from when my children were younger, as they had reptiles.

"I was excited to hold the crocodile as they look vicious, but are really tame and friendly," she added.

Mark Young from Millers Grange, where Ms Wooliams lives, said: "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.

"We were delighted to make such a unique wish come true for Pauline, as she has always talked about reptiles with a passion.

"It was a fantastic day that we will all remember for a long time," he added.