Sprucing things up: Old Christmas trees become new homes for injured animals

With the season of giving coming to a close, a Nova Scotia wildlife rehabilitation centre has found a resourceful way to recycle Christmas trees and extend the warm spirit of the holidays.

See Full Article

The Hope for Wildlife Society in Seaforth, Nova Scotia is asking locals to donate their retired evergreens to help provide shelter for injured and orphaned animals living at the centre.

“For the special trees that haven’t been treated, it’s actually food for our porcupines,” the centre’s founder, Hope Swinimer, told CTV Atlantic.

Swinimer and her team of volunteers have nursed injured animals back to health for nearly two decades at the centre, located about 40 minutes east of Halifax.

More than 250 different species – including owls, white-tailed deer, raccoons and foxes – have been taken in by the facility, given medical care and released back into the wild.

But when winter arrives, the animals need a warm refuge from the cold. Since the pens limit the animals from burrowing, the centre needed to find a way to provide protection from the brutal winter conditions.

The answer, Swinimer discovered, was Christmas trees.

“It enhances their natural environment but it also acts as protection from the cold winter,” she said.

A great horned owl named Boo had his cage spruced up by torn-up branches to help block out the wind and snow. Other animals have their enclosures walled in by Christmas trees, creating a dense natural barrier.

The centre put out a call on Facebook inviting anyone nearby to drop off their trees. In return, the centre offers to take guests on tours and introduce them to the approximately 100 animals on site.

“We thought it would be a good tradition for the kids,” said Krystal Denney after dropping off her family’s tree.

“I heard that they needed some trees here for the wildlife, so we just decided to grab our tree and our mother’s tree and bring it on down,” said Nova Scotian Ryan Barker.

The centre has collected Christmas trees in past years and has come to rely on the donations; in fact, the only trees remaining before this year’s donations were last year’s trees.

Swinimer says the centre needs about 200 trees to get through the winter, and that the goal will likely be reach by Sunday.

The organization says it has helped more than 20,000 injured and orphaned animals and grown to a team of over 100 volunteers since it began in 1997.

With files from CTV Atlantic



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 4th Ontario police officer takes his life in nine months

    Canada News CTV News
    Police advocates say it is time for action to help officers struggling with mental health after another Ontario officer took his life Wednesday. Ottawa-area Const. Roch Durivage is the fourth member of the Ontario Provincial Police to die by suicide since July. Source
  • China has stopped buying Canadian canola seed

    Canada News CBC News
    Chinese importers are unwilling to purchase Canadian canola seed at the moment, the group that represents the industry in Canada says. Earlier this month, Chinese customs authorities revoked the sales licence for a major Canadian canola supplier, Richardson International. Source
  • What is the 'Florida man' challenge and why is it trending online?

    World News CTV News
    A glut of bizarre stories from the Sunshine State have helped “Florida man” become the latest challenge sweeping social media. The game sees players Google “Florida man” and their birthday, without the year, to see what headline appears at the top of their search results. Source
  • UN human rights council condemns use of 'excessive force' by Israel at Gaza border

    World News CBC News
    The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel's "apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force" against civilian protesters in Gaza, and called for perpetrators of violations in the strip to face justice. Source
  • U.S. teachers shot with pellet guns during active-shooter drill

    World News CTV News
    Several teachers at an Indiana elementary school were injured after they were told to kneel and then shot with plastic pellets “execution style” during an active-shooter drill, according to the Indiana State Teachers Association. The association said law enforcement members led teachers from Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello, Ind. Source
  • EU, Syria reject Trump's statement on Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights drew strong condemnation from Syria, while the European Union and countries like Egypt and Russia also rejecting the overture. The Syrian government called it "irresponsible," and a threat to international peace and stability. Source
  • Drink, pray, recycle: Meet the Hay River nun raising money for music

    Canada News CBC News
    A Catholic nun who retired from teaching has raised thousands of dollars for community projects with her simple, but streamlined, bottle recycling program in Hay River, N.W.T. Sister Maggie Beaudette, 71, raises about $2,000 every year by accepting, sorting and cashing-in refundable beer cans, pop bottles and milk jugs. Source
  • N.Z. calls for solidarity at Muslim summit as Erdogan again screens shooter video

    World News CTV News
    ISTANBUL -- New Zealand's deputy prime minister said the gunman accused of killing 50 people in two mosques in the South Pacific nation would spend the rest of his life in isolation in prison and called for solidarity to eradicate “hate-filled ideologies. Source
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalls Janes brand chicken nuggets

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced the recall of Janes brand pub style chicken nuggets because they could be contaminated with salmonella. The recall affects uncooked 800g breaded chicken nuggets with a best before date of Dec. 15, 2019. Source
  • Cyclone Idai deaths could exceed 1,000 in southern Africa

    World News CBC News
    Even as floodwaters began to recede in parts of Mozambique on Friday, fears rose that the death toll could soar as bodies are revealed. The number of deaths could be beyond the 1,000 predicted by the country's president earlier this week, said Elhadj As Sy, the secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Source