Exotics need some help

Kirshner Foundation has a few more hurdles to jump before opening

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation’s recent move from Durham to Butte Valley.

First the good: The efforts to move in all of the 33 permit-requiring exotic animals went smooth as ice and by deadline, according to director Roberta Kirshner. Better yet, the animals are doing great at their new, more spacious digs. “Everybody is really content,” she said.

Now the bad: The facility has a few more challenges before it can open to the public. Kirshner (pictured with a Siberian tiger cub) expected that to happen by this week, but Butte County regulations require some additional site work. One of the biggies is construction of ADA-compliant walkways adjacent to the animals’ enclosures. The center is also in need of ballast rock for its several detention ponds.

Kirshner and her crew are busy full time caring for the animals, so they need some outside helping hands. The help is crucial to the foundation, which is reliant on the small fees through tours to sustain the operation. To volunteer, call 533-1000. To make a donation, visit www.kirshner.org.