There's about 100 of them, and they're all moving.
"It's a water quality issue," Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary Education Director James True said, "The state says you can't have animals so close to the creek, and that's where keep all the animals right now."
That's right, Beech Mountain-based Genesis Wildlife is making an exodus- at least as far as its outdoor animal housing facilities are concerned, and Saturday, you can help them financially in their journey at a family friendly event they're calling a "Hoot' Nanny," pun intended.
The Center, which helps an estimated 3,000 assorted critters yearly, has been at its current location for 17 years. While the Department of Energy and Natural Resources has been patient since the violation was identified two years ago, Genesis needs a new home for its outdoor animals by Sept.1 of 2011.
"The town is working really hard with us to find a new spot," he said.
The wildlife rehabilitation hospital can stay at its current location, so officials are looking for a place nearby to move the outdoor animals.
"There are just a lot of issues," he said.
Outdoor cages currently house "a little bit of everything," both mammals and birds, from hybrid wolves to song birds.
One of its most famous residents, North Carolina's official groundhog, Sir Walter Wally, is among those given their exit papers.
"We have raptors, hawks, a bobcat," just to name a few, he said.
Genesis, which works closely with Lees-McRae's Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute, has someone on call 24 hours a day to help wildlife in need.
"We do everything the humane society won't do," he said.
That means everything from birds with broken wings to foxes with broken tails, from as far away as Tennessee, Virginia and Ashe County.
And now it's Genesis that's depending on the kindness of strangers.
The Hoot 'Nanny is a kid-focused event that hopes to draw in the cash Saturday while teaching kids important lessons about wildlife.
"We're focusing on education and fun," he said.
Highlights include barbecue, a wildlife themed game show for kids ("like jeopardy," he said), a moon bounce, an alpaca petting zoo (courtesy of Apple Hill Farm) and the string stylings of local band the Corklickers ( http://www.corklickers.com). There's no preregistration to participate, and all kids have to do is show up.
"We've got a ton of prizes," he said, including restaurant gift certificates and golf games at the Beech Mountain Country Club.
The fun happens on Saturday, July 31 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Buckeye Recreation Center (206 Grassy Gap Creek Road) in Beech Mountain. Tickets are $5 for kids and $10 for adults.
For more information, contact Genesis at 828-387-2979 or visit http://www.genesis-wildlife.org.
Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary is a non profit wildlife rehabilitation hospital and education center open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Sanctuary is located at 210 Grassy Gap Road in Beech Mountain.