The animals, of course, aren’t aware of the holiday season.
Brooke the beaver emerges from the hole in her ice-covered pond for her midday meal at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary on Christmas day. A few minutes later, her mouth full, she slipped back beneath the ice for the short swim to her lodge.
Photo by Janalene Kingshott
On Christmas day, Brooke the beaver popped her head through a hole in the ice a few minutes after staff diligently widened the opening, as they do every morning. Glancing around after the short swim from her lodge, she climbed up the small slope to a small pile of food and branches.
After a bit of nibbling, she carried a piece, waddling back to her hole, and disappearing beneath the ice.
In the back deeryard, Lucky, Brandy and several rehabilitating fawns received their daily mix of vegetables and pellets.
And, part of the daily routine, Brandy had to push for a spot at the feeding trough against Lucky in their competition for the best morsels.
Luna the timber wolf was one of a handful of animals with a slight adjustment to their daily routine in honour of Christmas. Along with a typical meal of chicken and beef, she received a ball and dog bone, toys for her enrichment as a holiday treat.
Nearby, the two Arctic wolves also received dog bones, and as usual waited, watching, for visitors to wander off before coming down from amid the trees to eat.
And Zoe the coyote, always excited about visitors, received a red play ring – part of her enrichment – and spent some time chasing it as staff tossed it around the enclosure, and playfully nipping at staff, hoping for a chance to steal a toque if anyone let their guard down.
Inside, after a healthy helping of fish, Wilder the Otter received a blue animal Frisbee tossed in his pond – pushing it around with his nose.
And Clooney and Scotch the bunnies were treated to a small hay ball they could push around and eat. Elsewhere at Aspen, 13 rehabilitating beavers continued their non-stop work, pushing straw and sticks around to build and rebuild, 20 raccoons enjoyed their daily meal, and other squirrels, pigeons, Gandalf and Ellie the owls and Banshee the lynx enjoyed their daily meals.
Other than a few treats, it would be hard to tell it was Christmas at Aspen Valley.
And of course Mama bear and our rehabilitating cubs slept right through all of the holiday hubbub.