July 2023

Chawley Residents Get To ‘Pick Up A Penguin’


The two Humboldt penguins, named Two Dot and Widget, thrilled residents raising their spirits and providing lots of flippery fun.

The medium-sized penguins who normally live at Heythrop Zoological Gardens in Chipping Norton are originally from Chile but are used to visiting care homes as part of the zoo’s programme of animal enrichment activity.

And they soon settled in at Chawley Grove, Cumnor Hill, very happy to waddle around the home and sit on residents’ laps.

Chawley Grove Wellbeing and Lifestyle Coach Megan Wilson organised the thrilling visit.

She said: “What an amazing experience to be able to give our residents. It was such a wonderful visit; everyone was smiling and eager to hold the penguins.

“Jenny, the handler was telling us all about the penguins and how they behave. It was so nice to be able to hold them. The feedback was amazing, all our residents said they really enjoyed having the penguins here and how it brightened up their day.

“It was wonderful to be able to give the residents a new experience and hopefully we will see them again next year.”

Resident Rosemary Drew, aged 91, said: “I was certainly surprised when I saw them! It was lovely and I felt brave by letting them sit on my lap.”

Fellow resident Connie Godfrey, aged 99, said: “It was so lovely to meet them! I just love animals and our penguin visitors were an absolute delight.”

And after such a successful penguin visit Megan has a lot more planned with a visit by some micro/miniature pigs coming up next!