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Virginia science center's tree decorated with animals

Dec. 25, 2013 at 1:54 PM

DANVILLE, Va., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A Virginia science center said visitors can take in the splendor of a "natural Christmas tree" decorated with taxidermied animals.

Mack Williams, natural history educator at the Danville Science Center's Science Station, said he first decorated the tree four years ago and decided to leave it up year-round, the Danville (Va.) Register reported Wednesday.

"I was in the Christmas spirit and I was trying to figure out what to put on it," Williams said. "I call it a 'natural Christmas tree.'"

The taxidermied animals adorning the tree include a red-tailed hawk, a screech owl, an Eastern gray fox, a mockingbird and a Canadian goose. A mink is perched atop the tree to act as the star.

Williams said the animals, which are all from the surrounding area, had been in storage from 2005 until 2009.

Williams said visitors describe the tree as unique and say they've never seen one quite like it.

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