Lions, tigers get post-Christmas treat

Lions, tigers get post-Christmas treat
Updated: 01/05/2008 05:06 PM
By: Kira Mathis
Trees to tigers
While many leftover Christmas trees have been made into mulch, leftovers from one North Carolina tree farm were given to the lions and tigers at a local sanctuary.
CASWELL COUNTY, N.C. — While many leftover Christmas trees have been made into mulch, leftovers from one North Carolina tree farm were thrown to the lions. For the past three years, Cranberry Tree Farms has donated trees to the lions and tigers at a Caswell County sanctuary. It’s a treat both the volunteers and the animals look forward to.
Saturday morning started out just like any other day for the lions and tigers at the Conservators Center in Caswell County, but by mid-morning they knew something was up when a group of volunteers pulled in and began unloading dozens of Christmas trees.
“We do a lot of scent enrichment which means that anything that smells good that they want to smell and roll on and mark and the trees are the best of that,” said Mindy Stinner, who works at the sanctuary.
“This is one of the best ways to get rid of them. We enjoy it and think it goes to a good cause,” said Greg Cima of Cranberry Tree Farms in Laurel Springs.
But before the cats could get their Christmas treats, volunteers made certain there was nothing on the trees that might hurt the animals. Once the trees are cleaned up, they are placed in the cages and the animals are let loose.
“If they’re going to live their whole lives here, we really have a duty to take good care of them and keep them highly entertained,” added Stinner.
Officials say this round of trees will last for about a week, but with dozens of trees left, the lions and tigers have enough to last several weeks.
The Conservators Center has educational tours. Visit its Web site for more information.


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