Family animal park helps her autistic son who is animal-friendly
A family animal park that has been enjoyed by several generations now helps the owner’s grandson, who has autism.
Eagle Heights, a wildlife park in Eynsford, Kent, was opened in 1996 by Allan Ames, 60, when he and his family moved from London to Kent with his two children, Samantha, 30, and Jonny, 35 years old, and their mother, Sally. Amès, 59 years old.
After 25 years of activity, the park is now home to six alpacas, 30 huskies, over 100 birds of prey, nine meerkats and four sheep.
Now Samantha says the wildlife park is a great source of comfort for her eight-year-old son Archie who has autism.
Autism can sometimes make it difficult to interact and communicate with people, but growing up in the park Archie is able to bond with animals, which are like his “family”.
“He loves it at Eagle Heights,” Samantha said.
“He’s so gentle with animals and he really hooks up with birds. It is a very special place and the animals and birds are like family.
Animal and animal therapy can help people with autism engage more with others, develop communication skills, and cope with anxiety.
Samantha is happy that her son can be immersed in nature and animal life, just as she and her brother always have been.
“We really got stuck with the animals,” Samantha said.
“We started stealing birds from a young age, and then got involved with other animals even more as we helped more.
“Sometimes I envy people’s amazed reactions when they see the birds. It is so everyday for us now to be surrounded by these magnificent creatures that we do not react with awe. ‘
Now Archie is following in his mother’s footsteps. At six years old, Archie started learning to fly birds of prey.
He has a special connection with a bespectacled owl called Pepe.
Samantha, who learned to fly the birds at age eight, is now more involved in the business side of the park, but she still seeks solace from the animals in the park, “sneaking up” to lie down with them on time. closing.
“I got into the office side of things more when I was 16,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not involved with animals. I bought six alpacas and a few sheep recently.
“I sneak out of the office at closing time and stretch out in the hay with them. It’s nice and helps me relax after the day.
She added: “It’s a fantastic life here, we do a great job and have fun doing it.
“It’s thanks to my father and my mother. Their passion is to share wildlife with people and the planet, and we always encourage people to be more mindful of the natural world.
‘It’s our home. I grew up here and now Archie is doing the same, it’s really special and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
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