Christmas trees help Teignbridge Scouts and zoo animals

Baboon playing with old Christmas tree
Image caption Baboons will be among the animals given Christmas trees to explore and play with

Unwanted Christmas trees could benefit both scouts and zoo animals in Devon.

Teignbridge Scouts, who are trying to raise funds for new headquarters in Kingkerswell, plan to collect trees and take them to Paignton Zoo in January.

The zoo said many of its animals will enjoy playing with the Christmas trees, provided they have not been sprayed with toxic fake snow or glitter.

The scouts, who are asking for a minimum donation of £5, will carry out tree collections on 7 and 8 January.

'Novelty value'

In order to help the scout troop's venture, a number of local Christmas tree retailers handed out flyers with the trees.

Scout spokesman Steve Michaels said it was a service with multiple benefits.

"It's great to be able to deliver the trees to the zoo rather than send them off to landfill," he said

"This is helping young people, helping the environment and helping the animals at the zoo."

Paignton Zoo spokesman Phil Knowling said meerkats, primates and tapirs were among the animals that would benefit.

"The new textures and scents are stimulating - and you can't underestimate the sheer novelty value of a small conifer tree suddenly appearing in an enclosure," he said.

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