PLUCKY pensioners came face to face with some terrifying guests when a snake, skunk and a giant spider were VIP visitors at a care home.

The collection of weird and wonderful creatures would have sent some lesser mortals running for the hills.

But brave residents at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, in Stisted, are made of sterner stuff.

And they were thrilled to handle the exotic animals, which had been brought in by J&C’s Party Animals.

Dot Bayley, aged 92, soon had a tarantula scuttling in her palm, while 98-year-old Joan Chapman was brave enough to hang a snake around her neck, despite having never encountered such a serpent before.

Others took the opportunity to stroke a skunk and let a lizard lounge on their lap while learning more about the beasts from their experienced handlers.

Care home activities co-ordinator Dani Lane said: “Our residents really enjoyed meeting all the amazing animals.

“They were fascinated and wanted to know all about them.

“The snake was a big hit with our residents – they absolutely loved it!

“One of our ladies, Joan, was particularly keen and asked if she could have it put round her neck.

“She was the first to hold the tarantula too.

“It proved to be a wonderful sensory experience and a lot of fun for everyone.”

The residents were enjoying a week-long ‘staycation’ organised by the care home, which is run by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and looks after elderly freemasons, their families and people in the wider community.