An animal encounters company based in Leicester paid a visit to the University of Salford yesterday [November 2] to help cheer up students during the tier 3 lockdown.

Oreo and Friends is a family run company that was set up to raise awareness and to educate people about proper exotic animal care.

Callum Richardson and his brother Ken help to run the company that has been operating for the past eight years.

They regularly tour around the United Kingdom attending special events including children’s birthday parties with a menagerie of animals; from ferrets and meerkats, to lizards and snakes.

Yesterday, the University of Salford’s Students’ Union invited them along to University House, where several sessions were held throughout the day in order to accommodate all of those who were attending.

Faith Phiri, who attended the event with fellow student Taonga Luwe, said: “It’s been really nice getting out of the house today. It’s just been so tough with lockdown and everything that has been happening.

“It’s just been nice to get out and enjoy some down time with some cute animals.

“My favourite animal was definitely the meerkat. They’re really cheeky creatures and they kept trying to take food from our coat pockets. The ferrets were really cute too!”

Like many students, Phiri and Luwe have been experiencing the full on stresses of University life, even more so with the country due to go into a second national lockdown on Thursday.

“It has been so stressful lately. Today has been so therapeutic.”

Mr Richardson stressed the importance of how much of a stress reliever animals can be for people, especially during lockdown.

“Animals make brilliant friends and company. I don’t know where we would be in life without them. They really do make fantastic companions and are a great source of strength and comfort during these especially tough times”, he said.

To find out more information, visit their website at:


One Comment

  1. Great to see animal encounters – certainly are a positive experience for maintaining mental wellbeing. Super report! 😁

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