Christmas tree donations needed for animals at Alberta wildlife refuge

A wildlife refuge northwest of Calgary wants to reuse your Christmas tree as bedding for its animals.

Charity re-uses trees at its hospital to naturalize habitat for recovering animals

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

A wildlife refuge northwest of Calgary wants to reuse your Christmas tree as bedding for its animals.

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) is asking for people to bring their real trees to its facility to help create a natural habitat for patients at its hospital.

"It really does help the animals, it provides them a natural area. So it naturalizes the habitat that they're already in and it provides them shelter from the weather, but also a good hiding spot as well," said AIWC executive director Holly Duvall.

Patients currently being cared for at the facility include two young porcupines, deer fawns, beavers and several owls.  

"This year we're over-wintering a lot more animals than we have in previous years," Duvall said.

"They will really appreciate the foliage."

Guided tours of the hospital

Trees can be delivered on Jan. 8 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The facility is located in Madden, Alta., about 45 minutes northwest of Calgary near the intersection of Township Road 282 and Range Road 30.

Last year, AIWC took artificial trees as well, but this year people are asked to only bring real ones.

"In addition to accepting Christmas trees, we're also going to be giving guided tours of our sections of our wildlife hospital," Duvall said.

Those tours will be at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The charity is asking for a suggested donation of $10 from visitors.

The charity takes in more than 1,800 injured and orphaned animals for rehabilitation every year.


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