IT WAS a hoot for schoolchildren who had the chance to get their hands on some beautiful owls.
The feathery creatures paid a visit to Goldsmith Infant School, in Southsea, as the children have all been studying different animal topics.
The pupils had the opportunity to hold and stroke owls, and they learned about the animals and what they eat and how they survive.
They were also able to ask questions about them.
Year 1 leader Fiona Shellard said: ‘All our year groups are doing an animal based topic.
‘We thought this would be a nice thing to do, to bring it all together and to have a real life experience with some animals that all the children could relate to.
‘A lot of the children don’t have experience with real animals. They aren’t likely to see real owls.’
And Mrs Shellard said it’s been very popular. She added: ‘They have loved it. They have had the opportunity to hold them and stroke them. It’s been a fantastic opportunity.
‘This is really important. They have been so engaged with it.
‘They were so excited and have been talking about it all week. It will live in their memories for a long time.’
And she added even she was amazed by the creatures.
‘They are so beautiful and calm. I didn’t expect them to be so calm,’ she said.
‘They are obviously well loved and well looked after.’
Santhosh Maheson, six, is in Year 1. He said: ‘It was really exciting because I have never held an owl before.’
Abbie Nye-Whitworth, also six and in Year 1 added: ‘When I touched it, it felt all feathery. I liked it. It was fun.’
Andy Kendall is the owner of Owls About Town, which organised the event. He said: ‘We take our owls to various locations – schools, scouts, brownies.
‘We also take them to care homes with dementia sufferers and we bring them out and allow people to touch them because we feel it’s a really good way of educating people.
‘Being able to touch them, they get a lot more passionate about it and they remember a lot about the owls and they take the information in.
‘It allows them to get close to something they are very unlikely to see.
‘We are trying to educate them to look after these creatures because if we don’t, they aren’t going to be here anymore.’