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Still Waters

Fur coats become animal nests in recycling

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Humane Society asks people to donate fur coats to wild animal babies in need.

Got a fur coat gathering dust? The Humane Society suggests the ultimate recycling — putting it on the backs of other animals.

The Coats for Cubs program by the Humane Society of the United States helps orphaned, injured or sick wildlife by gathering fur coats and using them for nests, bedding or cuddly replacements for mom and dad.In 2009, 2,687 fur items were donated.

"We use the discarded furs as bedding to give the animals comfort and reduce stress," said Michael Markarian, the agency's chief operating officer in Washington, D.C. "The fur garments act as a surrogate mother. It is a warm and furry substitute."

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At first this sounds like an alright idea, but the more you think about it, the more twisted and bizarre it becomes.

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Would there be a problem with smells? I know they clean the fur/hide to make a coat out of it, but could there still be some residual scent of fox or mink or whatever that could bother an orphaned prey animal?

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