A GIANT rabbit and a meerkat were amongst the unique zoo animals who visited elderly residents for an animal therapy session.

Animals from Maldon Promenade Zoo spend the day with excited residents at Colonia Court Bupa Care Home.

Residents at the care home in Colchester got to meet many of the animals from the zoo, including a meerkat, large rabbit and a bearded dragon.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Fluffy: care home resident stroking the meerkatFluffy: care home resident stroking the meerkat (Image: Colonia Court Bupa Care Home)

Pictures show the smiling residents in the lounge of the care home, spending time with the animals.

One resident, Dorothy, aged 98 said: “I was very excited to see the animals especially the meerkat, it was very fluffy and I enjoyed stroking it. I can’t wait to see the animals again soon.”

Another resident, Percy, aged 90 said: “It was a lovely afternoon with the petting zoo. I got to see and hold lots of different animals.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Giant: large rabbit with a residentGiant: large rabbit with a resident (Image: Colonia Court Bupa Care Home)

“I was most surprised by the feel of the bearded dragon, I have to say, it was a little rough.”

Jiji George, the home manager at Colonia Court Bupa Care Home, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Maldon Petting Zoo to Colonia Court for our animal therapy session.

“The residents had a lovely time and it was a very informative session where the residents held the animals and learnt all about them.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Dragon: a resident with the bearded dragonDragon: a resident with the bearded dragon (Image: Colonia Court Bupa Care Home)

“Animal therapy sessions are well known to reduce stress and bring a sense of calm to older generations, so we thoroughly enjoy welcoming animals into the home.”