Alberta wildlife centre accepting Christmas tree donations

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation is accepting Christmas tree donations to help reduce the stress of the animals in their care.

Real and artificial trees used to make habitats cozier and more like the outdoors

Trees donated to AIWC will be used to make the hospital's recovery areas more natural for the animals. (CBC)

If you've hoped your Christmas tree would continue to have a life after the holidays, you're in luck.

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation is accepting Christmas tree donations to help reduce the stress of the animals in their care.

"A small little bird, let's say a crossbill, will sit in the tree instead of sitting in a plastic perch," said Katie Dunden, institute spokesperson. "And then he just is happier, he feels more in a natural environment as he would be in the wild instead of just sitting in plastic or metal or something fake."

The institute includes an accredited vet clinic and cares for hundreds of injured or orphaned animals each year.

It accepts both real and artificial tree donations, as long as they are stripped of all tinsel, lights, and decorations.

"Live is always good because it's more natural, but artificial are great because they last forever. And it's all about just giving the animals a more natural habitat. ... If they have to sit in their cage for a week, if they have a tree, it makes it all the better," says Dunden.

Trees can be dropped off at the institute, which is located about 45 minutes outside of Calgary in the hamlet of Madden, until Jan. 10.

If you're more of a tree traditionalist and are looking to recycle in town, the city begins its annual Christmas tree recycling for real trees on Jan. 8. 

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