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

  • Oscar Pistorius's sentence more than doubled to 13 years, 5 months

    World News CBC News
    South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday increased Oscar Pistorius's murder sentence to 13 years and five months after the state argued that his original sentence of six years was "shockingly lenient." Pistorius was imprisoned in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013 in a case that attracted worldwide interest. Source
  • Hamilton school bus driver charged in alleged abduction of 14-year-old girl

    Canada News CTV News
    Hamilton police say a 70-year-old school bus driver is facing abduction charges after several alleged incidents involving a 14-year-old girl. Police allege the developmentally delayed girl was abducted four times in late October while being driven to and from school in the city's east end. Source
  • China reports breaking up gang that moved $3 billion abroad

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - Chinese police say they have broken up a gang that smuggled 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) out of the country, evading financial controls imposed by Beijing to stem an outflow of capital from the economy. Source
  • Texas trooper killed during traffic stop; suspect arrested

    World News CTV News
    FAIRFIELD, Texas - A Texas state trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop in East Texas on Thanksgiving. The Texas Department of Public Safety released a statement on its Twitter account Thursday night identifying the trooper as Damon Allen, 41. Source
  • Chinese authorities look into kindergarten abuse claims

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - Chinese authorities are investigating allegations that children attending a kindergarten in Beijing run by a U.S.-listed company have been abused and molested. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Education said Friday it would inspect kindergartens in the Chinese capital, a day after the reports drew widespread attention. Source
  • Firefighters who responded to Mississauga explosion receive Medals of Bravery

    Canada News CTV News
    Paramedics and firefighters who responded to a massive warehouse explosion in Mississauga, Ont. were among those honoured for their bravery at an awards ceremony at Rideau Hall on Thursday. Eleven first-responders from across central Ontario rushed to the explosion on April 23, 2014. Source
  • U.S. navy ends search for 3 sailors missing after plane crash

    World News CBC News
    The search has ended for three sailors missing in the Philippine Sea since a U.S. navy aircraft crashed on Wednesday, the navy said Friday. The C-2A "Greyhound" transport aircraft was travelling to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier when it crashed. Source
  • 8 thought to be North Korean fishermen wash ashore in Japan

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- Japanese police said Friday they are investigating eight men found on Japan's northern coast who say they are from North Korea and washed ashore after their boat broke down. Akita prefectural police found the men late Thursday after receiving a call that suspicious men were standing around at the seaside in Yurihonjo town. Source
  • Flynn lawyers make a break with Trump team: AP source

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn have told U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team that they are no longer communicating with them about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference. Source
  • Kevin Rubletz guilty of second-degree murder in death of Jessica Newman

    Canada News CBC News
    A Calgary jury has found Kevin Rubletz guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his former girlfriend Jessica Newman. Members of Newman's family shed tears as the verdict was read Thursday evening in a Calgary courtroom. Source