ROCKWELL – It’s always the most wonderful time of year for the felines at Tiger World.
The not-for-profit Rockwell Wildlife Preserve is currently accepting Christmas Live in exchange for free entry to the park. Tiger World is home to over 110 animals and over 40 big cats, including tigers, lions, leopards and jaguars. This is the 13th year that Tiger World has hosted the Tree Recycling Event, which runs until January 16.
“We love to see all the families come down and bring their trees to join in the fun, while also getting one free entry per tree,” said Tiger World President and Founder Lea Jaunakais.
Tiger World will only accept trees without chemicals, ornamentation, flocking and garlands. Trees can be brought into the park admission area. Before the trees are rolled into the enclosures for recreation, Tiger World staff remove the trees of any lingering decorations.
The big cats that inhabit Tiger World treat trees like toys and spend hours playing with them. Although each animal reacts to trees differently, most like to snuggle up or throw them away. For primates, Tiger World staff members hide food in trees for them to eat.
“Our program started because an important part of animal management is stimulation and enrichment,” Jaunakais said. “Enrichment is a way to improve the mental and physical stimulation of animals for optimal well-being. Christmas trees provide a fun, seasonal enrichment. Animals love them.
Tiger World is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Wednesday. More information about the reserve and its tree program can be found at tigerworld.us. Rowan County also offers free live Christmas tree recycling at its landfill located at 789 Campbell Road. Trees should be devoid of decorations, garlands, nails, brackets and bags. Artificial trees cannot be recycled.
While Tiger World accepts Christmas trees, Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary currently accepts old, broken, or unwanted Christmas lights. Located at 220 Grace Church Road, Faithful Friends was founded in 2007 and provides a safe haven for abused and abandoned dogs and cats, providing health care, sterilization services, protection and care while the animals await. adoption.
Faithful Friends is primarily funded by donations, but owes part of its budget to collecting donated aluminum cans throughout the year. The same team that collects cans also collects Christmas lights. Faithful Friends accepts all kinds of string lights, from LEDs to old-fashioned bulbs.
Christmas lights and unwanted aluminum cans can be dropped off at the following locations:
• VFW Hudson-Miller-Tatum station # 3006 (drop-off every hour) – 1200 Brenner Ave.
• The Garden Greenhouse (drop-off during opening hours) – 4070 Woodleaf Road
• Speedwash No. 3 Laundromat (drop-off during business hours only) – 1337 W. Innes St.
• Faithful Friends Wildlife Sanctuary – 220 Grace Church Road
• Critters Cards and Gifts (during business hours) – 125 S. Main St.
• West End Plaza (every hour stops on the Belk side of the Old Mall) – 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd.
More information about Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary at faithfulfriendsnc.org.