If the character Dr Do-little wasn’t surrounded by his family of animals, he would have been a very unhappy man, and it quite possibly could have impacted his health too. According to researchers at UCLA’s Animal-People Connection, animal therapy can improve both mental and physical health. They found that when humans patted animals it promoted the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin which are mood-elevating hormones. They also found it can lower anxiety and blood pressure. It’s not just the experts who can see the positive effects of animal therapy; many people say that spending time with animals relieves stress – even children. Here are a few places in Perth where you can take the family to feel the benefits of talking to the animals.
Feed the Farm Animals
Warm your heart this winter with the adorable animals at Landsdale Farm. You don’t have to drive far to experience farm life! Just 15 kms from the CBD is Landsdale Farm, a unique educational farm where the kids can get up close with the animals, learn about farming and relax in beautiful surrounds. Life on the farm is never dull! There is always something happening at Landsdale Farm. They run a range of daily activities that the whole family can be involved in including cart rides, feeding the animals, animal interaction and rabbit time.
Go Horse Riding
Horses are amazing creatures to be around. Book in a trial ride for the family to experience horse riding in the middle of nature. There are riding trails available for all skill levels including beginners. If you’re south of the river we recommend Zia Park. They can cater for riders aged 6+ and you can choose from private, semi-private and group trail riding. If you’re north of the river Wanneroo Riding Centre offers a range of trail riding options (for 10 years old and up) that are tailored to the riders’ experience. There is even the option to include a picnic during the ride.
Behold the birds of prey
If you connect more with feathered creatures then get in touch with the team at the WA Bird of Prey Centre. They are passionate about the rehabilitation and conservation of beautiful birds of prey. They provide education through entertainment in the form of both static and flying displays for events, parties, excursions or incursions. They also run bird handling workshops for those who are keen to help make a difference in rehabilitating birds of prey.
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Get amongst the bushland and up-close to Australia’s favourite native animal at Cohunu Koala Park. They have a colony of around 25 koalas and you can even experience carrying and getting a photo with one (children must be 140cms+ to hold a koala). Meander through the grounds and pat wildlife and farm animals at your own pace. If you’re there on a weekend, public holiday or school holiday and need to give your feet a rest you can jump onto the mini train for a 10 minute ride around the park.
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