My name is Alyson and my family's ostrich farm in Edgewood BC (Universal Ostrich, run by my aunt Karen Espersen and her business partner Dave) is currently under evacuation order due to wildfires. My family cannot leave the over 500 ostriches on the farm, and must stay despite the evacuation to keep them safe from the fires. The farm has become a hub for families and neighbours evacuating to bring their livestock, and they are now keeping those animals safe as well. There are six of them staying and working around the clock to prepare the farm and see this fire through including my aunt, uncle, cousin and step dad.
This fire was initially discovered July 10th, and it has grown to 4600 hectares at the time I'm writing this. My family has been spending all available funds on preparing to face this fire since long before this gofundme. They have tapped every credit card and pulled from all available savings purchasing gas, water and supplies to prepare for the worst. They do tours and gate sales and that income is completely cut off right now, that money goes directly towards feed every month. They are the most caring people I know, and would help anyone in need, my aunt would never let a person or animal go hungry. They will not leave these animals to die. They have said many times that if the houses burn, they burn, but they will not lose these animals. This is terrifying and we don't know what will happen when.
The donations received will go towards animal feed (the animals on this farm consume about 1000lbs of feed per day and this is with rationing), gas for generators that are running water pumps to soak down the structures and pastures, water, as well as food for any animals in need that show up who are running from the fire (forestry has said there will likely be many) or community members animals who may be without, and other safety supplies needed. We don't know how long this situation will last, there are only two roads in and out and one is completely closed, and the other is closed to anyone incoming without an emergency permit. There is a fire currently threatening that road and access could be lost at any time. We need as much feed secured as possible so that the over 500 animals on the farm do not starve if that happens.
My aunt Karen lost her home many years ago to a fire and she is facing that again, this time much more extreme. She loves animals more than anyone I know and she will not leave them to die, please help us do everything we can to keep them safe.
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