"These are people I don't even know, that came all the way from the Beale Air Force Base, Cherokee, Moore Fencing from Butte County, I mean this is amazing" stated Roberta Kirshner, Executive Director for the Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation. She was flooded with emotion, watching from the sidelines as more than thirty volunteers worked busily to build cages that will soon be filled with rescued wildlife. "Most of our animals, we're the last stop for them cause we're a 24 hour care facility, and 84 percent of our animals are special need" she explained.
The animals, Tigers, lions and a bear just to name a few remain at the old site in Durham while the construction goes on at the new facility. Once the cages are finished, the rescued animals will be quickly introduced to their new home.
But it's a race against time for the foundation. They are working to beat a county imposed deadline to relocate their refuge by October. "All of the sudden you look at the deadline and realize what's gonna happen" Roberta said.
The Kirshner Foundation had been located in Durham for more than 17 years, but outgrew the facility. It also met head on with complaints from nearby neighbors. That all is in the past now, thanks to volunteers from Moore Fencing and soldiers from the Beale Air Force Base, who work diligently to insure these animals have new, sturdy cages. " We believe in the Kirshner Foundation, Roberta's worked very very hard to maintain this particular facility" said Earl Moore, President from Moore Fencing. Jake Schillinger, a soldier from the Beale Air Force Base added that "coming out here and getting the opportunity to do something like this is just amazing". All the time and labor is being donated free of charge. "People are amazing, they really give when they feel that it's something that should have support" Kirshner emotionally explained.
Despite all the valiant efforts, much is still needed to finish the project. Roberta worries about where she will find the funds to cover the cost for the remaining materials. "We Probably need 50 loads of road base and gravel, plus we need 300 4 by 4's and plywood" Roberta explained.
Through it all, Kirshner keeps calm and collected, and though time is running out, she is thankful for all who have helped. She explains that " Everyone here is doing it from their heart to help".