LAKE ARIEL, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Although many people’s favorite time of year has come to an end, for certain four legged creatures this is the best time of year.
A local wild animal park is collecting Christmas trees to spruce up their animals’ lives during their off season.
Lions, tigers, and pigs: Just a few of the animals that benefit from Claws ‘N’ Paws Wild Animal Park’s annual Christmas tree drop.
The animal park urges people to donate their trees rather than just getting rid of them once the holiday is over.
“The animals really enjoy them, and just why not? It’s better to just recycle and reuse the tree where an animal can get better use of it instead of just throwing it away or throwing it in the trash or in the woods or something,” explained Jackie Thorpe, a senior zookeeper at Claws ‘N’ Paws.
The king of the jungle and his queen were certainly enjoying their new toy. Kira the tiger was also seen as smitten as a kitten with her pine.
“They really get a kick out of the trees, they don’t get this all year round so this is really our favorite enrichment to give them and the animals as well,” said Thorpe.
But the cats are not the only animals that benefit from the tree recycling.
“So we’ll give them to our petting zoo animals which are the sheep and the goats and our fallow deer and they will eat the entire tree from needles down to the bark. The rodents will also chew on the bark and that’s also really good for their teeth. The primates will hide lots of treats and seeds and things like that in the tree so they can forage like they would do in their natural environment,” described Thorpe.
Before dropping off your Christmas trees, there are certain things to remember in order to keep all animals, big and small, safe: Since the trees are going in with animals such as Jethro the giraffe, it’s important to keep them clear of any tinsel, hooks, ornaments, or any type of chemicals such as fake snow.
Christmas trees can be dropped off in the Claws ‘N’ Paws parking lot any day from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.