Chester Moore creates Kingdom Zoo, Wild Wishes

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

By Anne Payne

The Orange Leader


Beginning with zebras, a few years ago, Chester and Lisa Moore started a program called, “Wild Wishes,” for terminally ill children or for kids who have lost a parent or sibling, with providing them encounters with their favorite exotic animals. The Moores love exotic animals and own a toucan, reptiles, birds, turtles, hamsters of every species, and even a wallaby.  This place houses more than 100 animals, representing species from six continents. Their place at 1605 Strickland in Pinehurst (Orange area), Kingdom Zoo, is called a “micro zoo.”

Moore says, “My zoo focuses on small, rare, and mysterious creatures, using the Creation to glorify the Creator.”

Moore adds, “In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived in total peace with wildlife. In today’s world with sin, death, and chaos, much of that has been lost. A child who has been through a trauma will open-up and allow prayer and destiny to be spoken unto them when in the presence of one of our many outreach animals.”

“We do what we do because of hurting kids.  Often, people treat their kids worse than their animals.  Animals do make a difference with kids,  We should not be satisfied with what is happening to kids. There is also a crisis among veterans with suicide.  We just want to try and bring happiness to people,” Moore said.

Excited about a boy on the Bolivar Peninsula with leukemia whose dream was to play with a fox or wolf, Moore arranged for the child to meet a 75-percent Timber wolf and 25-percent dog named Lucy.  The wolf-dog immediately ran to the boy, accepting him as her wolf-brother, very unusual.

Moore quoted a Bible verse from Isaiah 11:6, “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.  The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.”

Many local residents may remember Moore’s grandmother, the late Ruby Pickard,

who founded an organization called “My Wish, Inc.” in 1982 to grant wishes to terminally ill children in Southeast Texas.  As a very small child, Chester would accompany his grandma to see her give so many children happiness, giving the little boy, Chester, a heart for kids.  He created “Wild Wishes” to continue his Grandmother Ruby’s legacy in the very unique Kingdom Zoo.

Chester adds, “I was told to pursue my passion, but I must have steam and purpose.  We have seen 25,000 plus kids with animals, but we need 7 to 10 acres somewhere in the Orange County area so we can be open to the public with large animals such as zebras, bears, lions, etc.  We are already licensed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife and the USDA.  We want to have a Garden of Eden in our zoo area.  Animal therapy is for people.  Kids will have personal contact with animals.”

He is currently actively seeking this land for a possible donation since Kingdom Zoo is a 501C(3).

The Moores, along with their daughter, Faith, take their animals once per month to Buckner’s Children’s Village in Beaumont for a visit.  Kingdom Zoo and “Wild Wishes” are both 501C(3) charities that hope to teach kids about Christ through His Creation.  Their focus is on spiritual and wildlife education through media, encounter-based programs, and mentoring.

They adopted Faith from China about nine years ago, and she currently is home-schooled by her mother, Lisa, who retired a year ago with 20 years of service in Deweyville ISD.  Faith had attended Community Christian School.

The Moores are dedicated to wildlife conservation and education, regularly speaking to scout groups, civic organizations, school groups, and home school families.  Chester says that he and wife Lisa are humbled by their experiences with Kingdom Zoo.

In the flood in Deweyville over a year ago, the couple took a youngster who had lost a father, a brother, and a home in the horrific water storm to Kerrville, about 1 1/2 hours west of San Antonio.  It was at a ranch in Kerrville that the child saw deer, turkeys, giraffes, wallabies, zebras, camels, longhorn cattle, and buffalo.  The white buffalo is considered the most sacred of animals to Native Americans, and the youngster, surprisingly, saw one of these white buffalo, considered to be a symbol of hope.  This was the fulfillment of the youngster’s “Wild Wishes.”

Chester writes for several national and local publications.  The Kingdom Zoo is open two Saturdays per month and by appointment on Thursday evenings.  The business can be reached at 1-800-970-8417 or or at  They also can be found on Facebook and Instagram.


Edited to correct Moore’s daughter’s name. Their daughter’s name is Faith, not Lisa.