Exotic animals get Christmas trees as toys

Posted January 3, 2009 4:20 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2009 8:59 a.m. EST

— Animals at the Conservators’ Center near Mebane played with donated Christmas trees on Saturday.

The annual Christmas Tree Toss lets lions, tigers and other exotic animals use the trees as toys.

On Saturday, the big cats made the trees their scratching posts and pounced, rolled, tussled and ran with the trees.

Conservatory officials said that a vendor donates the unsold trees each year.

The private conservation center breeds and rescues endangered animals of more than a dozen species, along with educating the public about conservation efforts.