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Donate A Christmas Tree, Help An Animal

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DURHAM, N.C. — Many people enjoy the beauty and the smell of a Christmas tree. Animals feel the same way, but they can get even more out of your leftover Christmas tree. All you have to do is take your tree to them.

Groucho and the other sheep at Durham's Museum of Life and Science are not quite sure what to make of the new addition to their pen. The museum is using old Christmas trees with 10 different species of animals to keep them busy and excited.

"Our bears in particular like to use them for bedding. The sheep like to attack the trees, butt them," Sherry Samuels of the Museum of Life and Science said. "Our goats and donkeys like to ... chew on them and eat them."

Samuels said she got the idea of using the trees in the animal exhibits about four years ago.

"Each year, we try them with another animal, make sure it's safe for them and then we'll try something else," she said. "This year, I think we're going to try them with our possums and woodchucks."

It is all in an effort to break up the monotony for the animals who bring so much joy to museum visitors, but who need a little joy themselves.

"Like people, all we need is food, water and shelter. It's the same with animals," she said. "If we just had food, water or shelter, life wouldn't be that fun or exciting, so we try to do the same thing for the animals where we're their stewards."

If you want to help enrich the animals' lives, all you have to do is take all the decorations off your live tree and leave it by any of the gates at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.


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