VIDEO: Kamloops wildlife park looking for donations so elk can play; cougars can eat - InfoNews

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VIDEO: Kamloops wildlife park looking for donations so elk can play; cougars can eat

Thunder the elk is pictured in this contributed photo playing with a tree on Jan. 14, 2017 at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Image Credit: Melany Leontowich
January 16, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - The B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops is looking for some donations, but it might not be what you expect.

Meat and used Christmas trees are being requested from the community; trees for the elk, birds and porcupines while the meat is going to any of the parks carnivores. Adrienne Clay, the park’s animal care supervisor, says they’re open to pretty much anything, so long as the meant isn’t ground and the trees are clean.

“Ground meat is the one type of meat we don’t take, or spiced or salted,” she says. “Humans cook food, we don’t cook the meat for the animals.”

She’s hoping people may have extra meat in their freezers that may not be getting used.

“If people are clearing out their freezer, the stuff we’re looking for any sort of wild game, any beef,” she says. “We tend to use a lot more red meat more than anything else.”

While the park does make sure it can feed the animals residing there, they also run a wild animal hospital, which can have a variety of animals in it. Right now there’s a bobcat and a couple eagles, which means more meat than usual is being consumed. Clay hopes there are people with some unprocessed game in the freezer, like moose or fowl, but any meat is good, the less processed the better.

“If they’re steaks or stew chunks, or any kind of cut, those are good,” she says.

As for leftover Christmas trees, Clay says the park uses them a variety of ways. Thunder, the bull elk, has the most fun with them. Clay says he’ll play with a tree until it’s essentially tooth picks.

Other animals appreciate the leftover pieces of Christmas trees as well.

“We also give them to the birds and the birds of prey,” she says. “They’ve got shelters already but because we have multiple birds in these enclosures it gives them places all to the themselves.”

Depending on how many trees they get, staff will also give the porcupines a tree. They eat the greens off the branches. The badger sometimes gets one as well, and the wolves are given one, sometimes with the scents of other animals on it it.

While the park isn’t open to the public, Clay says donations, both meat and trees, can be left in a bin in the park’s parking lot, which staff check regularly. Trees need to have all decorations removed if they’re to be given to the animals, including tinsel and fake snow. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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