RESIDENTS of a York care home came into contact with some exotic creatures last week.

An eight-foot boa constrictor snake, a Brazilian tarantula, a chameleon, a skunk, a bearded dragon and a chinchilla were among the creatures that were a part of the surprise visit to the RMBI Care Home Connaught Court in Fulford, York.

The creatures visited with Noah’s Ark, who hold exotic pet displays, and residents were given the opportunity to stroke or hold them, while learning more about them from their handlers.

Among the residents was 98-year-old Connie Ireland, who was the first in line to handle the tarantula.

While Barbara Knowles, also 98, interacted with Willow, the aromatic skunk. Barbara said: “I didn’t notice the smell, she was lovely. I loved all of the animals.”

Another resident, Allen Denny, got up close and personal with Gripper, the boa constrictor.

Stephanie Taylor, an activities co-ordinator at Connaught Court, said: “Our residents were supremely brave. They were fascinated by these wonderful animals and were only too delighted to get up close and personal.

“It made for a very different and interesting activity and it was a joy watching the interaction between the animals and residents. It’s fair to say that everyone enjoyed their time with our unlikely guests.”

The RMBI Co. opened in 1842 and provides care for over 1,000 people across England and Wales.

RMBI Care Co. is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation; a charity that encourages opportunity, promotes independence and improves wellbeing for disadvantaged people across society.

For more information on the care home, visit