You can feed your old Christmas tree to an elephant
1:05 PM, Dec 28, 2017
7:26 PM, Dec 29, 2017
Now that Dec. 25 is firmly in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start de-Christmasing your home. Take down the lights outside (you don’t want to be that neighbor). Put away the stockings. And, oh yeah, if you have a real Christmas tree, you have to figure out what the heck to do with it.
Many areas have “treecycling” programs, where Christmas trees are turned into mulch and repurposed for gardens, paths and compost. But then there’s another use for old Christmas trees that is super adorable. Ready for this? Some zoos around the world elect to give your old trees to their in-house elephants. Because, believe it or not, elephants like to chow down on the branches as a snack. Check out the elephants at Tierpark Berlin munching away on some trees:
“The animals love it. For them, the Christmas feast is starting now,” elephant keeper Ragnar Kuehne told New York Daily News.
In Hohenwald, Tennessee, local residents donate their old trees to the annual Christmas Tree Drive. The trees are then fed to the elephants at The Elephant Sanctuary. “The purpose of this program is to not only provide the elephants with more variety to their diet but to also allow the public to donate and connect to the elephants,” said Lead Caregiver Kristy E., who helped to spearhead the program.
Because the elephants have decreased foraging opportunities in the winter months, the Christmas trees help supplement their diet. The trees also supply them with nutrient-rich resin. What’s more, the elephants really seem to enjoy their seasonal snack. “It is really something extraordinary for them, because it takes them quite a while to get through such a large portion,” explained the Vienna-based Schönbrunn Palace keeper Andreas Buberl.