WO grants Kingdom Zoo a variance to animal code

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Larry Holt

The Orange Leader


WEST ORANGE — “My wife, Lisa and I would like to be able to take home and nurse baby animals we receive,” said Chester Moore of Kingdom Zoo as he addressed the West Orange City Council on Monday, during his request for a variance to the current animal code regarding “wild” or “exotic” animals.

The purpose of his request was to do their educational and ministry events within the city and from time to time take animals into their home they determine need “additional one on one time,” as part of training before engagement with the public.

“No lions and tigers,” said Moore with a smile. “I am talking about taking home perhaps a baby fox or the like.”

His home will not be used as an overflow facility for his ministry work.

Moore’s Kingdom Zoo is a 501 3c non-profit ministry, licensed five years ago as a zoological facility and educational exhibitor through the United States Department of Agriculture and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“Our endeavors are not for profit,” said Moore. “Our mission is to bring the redeeming love of Christ to hurting children through wildlife encounters.”

His prepared statement read, “We have found the exotic animals help us break through barriers with children who are suffering problems ranging from abuse, neglect, terminal illness, abandonment, and special needs. We are fully committed to helping children with wildlife.”

Alderman Carl Thibodeaux remarked how Moore, “Really does a wonderful job,” and without further comment the council unanimously approved a variance to Ordinance number 355-C.

In other business, citizen Billy Frederick addressed the council regarding his request for the city to consider installing stop signs at the intersection of Lansing and Burnett streets.

“My hope is we can slow down vehicle traffic in that stretch of Lansing,” Frederick said.

His request stemmed from his concern for the safety of citizens in the area at risk from speeding vehicles.

Frederick would also like to the city to attend to cleaning out the overgrown ditch along Burnett Street.

“I can’t clean it myself. This is the main ditch that diverts water runoff” from the area and is in need of immediate attention.

The council thanked him for expressing his concerns but made no comment about resolving either issue.

Alderman Dale Dardeau, Mike Shugart Sr, and Shirley Bonnin ran unopposed in the recent election and were sworn in by City Attorney Rex Peveto.   The council unanimously voted to appoint Bonnin as Mayor Pro-Tempore.

Voters approved all propositions but one.

Proposition C failed, thereby continuing to require the Municipal Judge resides within the city limits of West Orange.

Full election results and explanation of propositions on the ballot are posted at the cities webpage.