How Your Christmas Tree Could Become a Lion's Favorite New Toy

One zoo takes your old tree and lets African lions play with it.
Jan 6, 2015·
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

Fed up with waiting for the garbage collector to grab the undecorated fire hazard of a Christmas tree sitting in front of your house?

If you lived near one zoo in the United Kingdom, your tree could have been a New Year’s treat for a family of African lions.

Real Christmas trees are like “catnip” to lions, Kim Simmons, director of the Linton Zoological Gardens, told the BBC on Sunday.

The lions roll around, sleep on, and thoroughly enjoy the holiday trees, which people have been leaving at the front gate of the zoo after-hours. It’s all part of the zoo’s tree recycling program.

“Rooted trees can be planted in our new woodland area or in aviaries and enclosures to enrich habitats,” Linton officials posted on the zoo’s Facebook page. “Cut trees are given to the big cats to play with and dead trees are used as fuel for our biomass burner.”

So if you’re in the area, leave your tree on the zoo’s doorstep, and make a lion’s day.