GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Christmas trees for the animals at the NEW Zoo

Local News

SUAMICO, Wis. (WFRV) Christmas time may be over but how about giving a green gift to the NEW Zoo in Suamico. As Local 5 found out they’d love to make use of your discarded Christmas tree.

At the NEW Zoo in Suamico people stroll the grounds looking at the animals. But some visitors are just a bit surprised that in many exhibits they also see a Christmas tree or two.

“My daughter picked up right away. She is like “there are Christmas trees” and she goes “I wonder what they do with them,” said one woman visiting the zoo.

Assistant Zookeeper Brent Koerner says for the past few years the zoo has put out the call for old Christmas trees to share with their over 200 animals.

“We can use them as enrichment for our animals. It’s a sensory for them, it’s like tactile, they get to move it around, they get to interact with it,” Koerner said.

And this zookeeper says the animals really love these trees. In fact, they have to replenish them on a daily basis. Each of the animals interacts differently with these trees that provide them with hours of fun.

“Sometimes they play with them and it’s just something new for them,” said one girl walking the zoo..

“Goats, alpacas, they will strip all the needles off the branches and the elk and the bison will throw them around,” Koerner said.

And all that hard play means the zoo can always use more trees – if they’re clean, free of tinsel and other decorations and dropped off at the zoo.

“Yes ,we’ll take more trees. Last year we kept using trees well into spring,” Koerner said.

“To give the trees a second life and actually be able to help the animals is kind of cool,” said another zoo visitor.

“We’re happy we can provide that service and the people also enjoy their helping our animals out,” said Koerner.

If you’d like to donate your old Christmas tree to the NEW Zoo, visit their Facebook page for instructions.

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