"We'll lose our permits from the county and then we're gonna have to just, who knows what's gonna happen" said Roberta Kirshner. It's a race against time for the Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation as it struggles to beat a county imposed deadline to relocate by the first week of October. The foundation outgrew it's previous location in Durham and had received complaints from neighbors, that's when the county told them they had to move. The new facility sits on 19 acres in Butte Valley near Butte College, but before the exotic animals can be moved in cages must be finished. "We're gonna get it done, that's the only option. We want to do it, we're gonna do it and with people like this it will happen" Kirshner explained.
With overwhelming support from the local community executive director Roberta Kirshner is hopeful they can beat the deadline. And with the help of five separate fencing companies working together it just might happen. "For us to get this done and keep it in Butte County is a huge ordeal and we'll do whatever it takes to meet the deadline" said project director Chuck Tatreaau.
Arrow Fencing, Campbell Fencing, Willard Fencing, Moore Fencing and Bill's Quality Fencing have all stepped up to donate supplies and labor. These five fencing companies have put competition aside in order to work together and beat the deadline. Something the Kirshner foundation will never forget. "I'll be forever grateful and I will never forget these men and women who have come together to help us" Kirshner explained.
More than 60 volunteers work at the new location daily, including students from Butte College and Chico State, members from the Cherokee Christian Fellowship and the Chico Noon Exchange Club. "I don't think people realize how much we'd like to do for them to show the appreciation of what they're doing for us and the animals" Kirshner said. The animals, from lions and tigers to a bear and a wallaby will be the big winners in the end.