LAKE ARIEL, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — As many people begin to take down their holiday decor, zookeepers at Claws ‘N’ Paws are asking that you give the animals a gift this year by donating your Christmas tree.
“Every year the price of Christmas trees goes up. So you’re spending all this money for a tree that you have in your home for a month. So it’s just another way to reuse your tree and get your money’s worth out of it,” Pamela Voglino, head zookeeper, said.
Zookeepers tell Eyewitness News they’ve received 100 Christmas trees this year, and they help with the enrichment of the animals.
“It gets them up, you know, gives them something to do. We actually do enrichment for the animals everyday. Sometimes it’s really hard to keep thinking of new things to do for them. Seasonal items like Christmas trees, pumpkins, cornstalks those things really make it easier for us,” Voglino said.
Staff at Claws ‘N’ Paws have been asking for tree donations for the past four years. The first time they gave the animals trees, they didn’t know how the animals would react.
“It’s better than we expected actually. We were excited to put them in there and we weren’t sure what they would do,” Voglino said.
Each animal reacts differently to their new toys. Voglino says they go to good use.
“Some of the big cats will try to eat the tree even though they’re not supposed to. But it doesn’t bother them. They’ll chew on them, they’ll roll on them. Some of them will eat them, like the petting zoo will eat them. We hide treats in them, we put perfume on them. We can make little forts for them to hide in so there’s all sorts of things we can do,” Voglino said.
Those who wish to donate their trees to the animal park can do so by dropping them off in the park’s parking lot between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.