A Cape Breton wildlife park is offering Christmas gift cards for people who want to adopt a baby animal this year.
A young white-tailed deer that staff named Allan and a snowy owl called Earl were brought into Two Rivers Wildlife Park suffering from serious injuries.
Money raised under the park's Adopt-A-Friend program will be used to upgrade enclosures for the injured animals, and help provide them with ongoing treatment and shelter.
Park employees said the deer arrived in bad shape. He was discovered on a road near the park.
"His paws were kind of curled under so we had to do physiotherapy on him for about four weeks," said Mike Timmons, the park supervisor.
Timmons said Allan wore two casts for two weeks and is doing much better, though they may need to get him a special boot for one wounded paw.
The owl was found on the shore in Glace Bay with a broken wing and other injuries. He was taken to a local veterinary hospital and then the wildlife park.
"We thought we were going to be able to rehabilitate him, but he's now a lifer here," said Timmons. He added that the owl is slowly warming to his new home. "Sometimes I can pat his head, but it depends on his mood."
The sponsorships are $25 for the owl and $50 for the deer. "If you have that person who's hard to buy for or has everything, it's a nice little gift," said Kelly MacDonald, the park's office administrator.
Angela MacKay was one of the first to buy a gift card this year. It's for her sister and her children, who are visiting this Christmas.
"I always take my niece and nephew to the park so this year I decided I would adopt them one of the animals and take them up to see it," said MacKay. "So while I'm giving them something, I'm also teaching them about the animals and supporting my local community."
People who sponsor an animal will get a picture of the animal, some information about it, a certificate, and a thank-you letter. "Park staff will make sure you get to see the animal that you adopt," said MacDonald.
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