Nova Scotia

Hope for Wildlife wants used Christmas trees

Hope for Wildlife normally provides a refuge for injured animals, but now they're offering a new home for unwanted Christmas trees.

Society uses them to make natural habitats for wounded animals

The Hope for Wildlife Society normally provides a refuge for injured animals, but now they're offering a new home for unwanted or used Christmas trees.

Managing a sanctuary that's home to hundreds of wounded wild animals, society director Hope Swinimer is always struggling to create a natural environment.

She and the other volunteers at Hope for Wildlife, a rehabilitation and education centre in Seaforth,  are constantly on the lookout for greenery.

"We do crazy things. Like if we're driving down the road and see that the government is doing a clear cut along the side of the highway, you know how they do that, we'll stop and see if we can take some," Swinimer said Wednesday.

"We're always scrounging for trees because we use them for all kinds of reasons. It's all to do with cage enhancement."

This year she thought that rehousing some of those slightly used Christmas trees would be a good solution.

"Some of the animals eat the trees, some of the animals — like the owls or songbirds — will perch on the trees. And a lot of the animals will hide behind the trees and they act as a nice buffer between us and the animals."

She put out a call on Hope for Wildlife's Facebook page and the trees started coming in.

"Sobeys had a Christmas tree lot and they said we have like eight leftover Christmas trees that didn't sell, so they drove them down and dropped them off and they're perfect," Swinimer said.

She is hoping to get 70 trees, or chopped-up parts of trees.

"They can be chopped in two, they can be in bits and pieces, they don't need to be big. I don't know if anybody ever decorates pine trees anymore, but they're awesome," Swinimer said.

"But, the only thing we can't accept is a tree that has  tinsel left on it. They have to be totally clean because that tinsel can seriously hurt an animal if they ate it and they're prone to eating tinsel."

Trees can be dropped off at Hope for Wildlife in Seaforth, 30 km. east of Dartmouth.