Every day at the Amazing Hands Centre for Rehabilitation and Recreation for People with Special Needs is full of interesting events. However, 29 July was surprisingly unusual. Thanks to the kindness of Serhiy Kostiv, Director of the Zoo in the village of Medenychi in the L’viv region, friends from the Centre received a wonderful opportunity to see exotic animals.
Special needs youth from Caritas waited anxiously for the bus to arrive at their destination. “In the village of Medenychi the friends met two friendly burros. They happily surrounded the fascinated visitors, and seemingly called out: Ahead many fascinating things await you!” explains Lyudmyla Maksymyuk, Project Coordinator for the Disabled at the Caritas Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy of the UGCC.
The first step into the zoo was very exciting. They immediately saw a cage with a playful Kittiwake. The animal inspected the visitors with as much interest as the visitors who were inspecting it. After that the disabled youths saw the leopards Kaya and Herdy which reminded the children of the story of the Snow Princess.
Yet this was far from the last surprise which awaited them at the zoo. After the leopards the guests from Caritas saw the tiger Sharkira. She intently watched the passers-by but was not overly concerned. The same could not be said of the family of lions which were the neighbours of this entertaining lady.
Oleh, a client of the Centre said with a smile: “The King of beasts was very disturbed. Obviously, our group troubled him. He came out to meet us and roared loudly, shaking his luxurious mane.
Everyone noticed immediately that he was protecting his young lioness. This became a learning experience for those who saw this moving moment and should be a lesson for every man.”
Every subsequent cage in the zoo made an impression on the disabled children because of its’ novelty. They saw Siberian dogs and aggressive wolves, colourful parrots, refined lamas, foxes, camels, sheep, porcupines, ostriches, owls, a thoughtful vulture, and a playful pony.
What they saw at the zoo impressed the friends so much that they drew and painted the animals when they returned to the Centre.