RALEIGH (WTVD) -- When leftover prime beef, rib eye and fillet gets cleared off a plate at the famed Angus Barn steakhouse, the scraps are frozen in buckets and end up in mouths of lions, tigers and wolves at the Conservators Center animal rescue in nearby Mebane.
"We have like this one 42-ounce bone-in ribeye, that has this huge bone in it, and so they're getting those bones," Angus Barn owner, Van Eure, said. "And they're getting certified angus beef. They are getting fillet scraps. They're getting tenderloin scraps, so they're eating very well."
Eure said she got the idea to donate leftover scraps, bones and butcher trimmings, after seeing so much quality meat go to waste.
"One night, I was back helping the dishwashers -- this was years ago -- and I'm watching all this meat come off people's plates, and as I'm clearing the plates, I'm thinking 'wonder if these carnivores would like this meat even though it's been cooked,'" Eure said.
The animals loved it, and now the Angus Barn loads up buckets of frozen leftovers and scraps, and drives them to the animal rescue. Angus Barn employee Robert Moore has been making the 100-mile round trip every week for years.
"Before one of my daughters was even born," Moore said.
Mindy Stinner, the executive director at the Conservators Center said the top quality beef helps supplement the animals' diets, helping their bodies reach the right fat content to fight off winter's cold.
"We're very careful about our diets here, and we're very careful about how we deliver the food to them, so we're fortunate to have a supplement that's this high-quality," Stinner said.
"When I look at these buckets there are times when I think why am I not eating that steak," Stinner laughed.
Eure said she hopes Angus Barn's efforts to put its leftovers to good use will inspire others.
"There are other places that rescue animals, of all kinds, and there's a lot of waste that restaurants have, and possibly other restaurants could do the same thing, and work out a deal with another place whether it's somewhere closer, local," she said.