Kingdom Zoo a gem for SE Texas

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 26, 2019

By Van Wade

Orange Leader


There is no question that Chester Moore, Jr. has made his mark among the outdoors community over the years.

Whether it has been information on how to catch the perfect bass or nabbing that big buck, Moore has been a “go-to guy” on learning how to do it.

However, Moore’s relationship among the community and helping children has certainly been a blessing as he and his wife, Lisa, along with their amazing daughter, Faith, have led a tremendous charge.

The Moores operate the Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center® in Pinehurst and work amazingly to help hurting children in the Golden Triangle area.

Chester and Lisa saw their amazing The Wild Wishes ® program celebrate its fifth anniversary early in March.

The program grants wildlife encounters to children with a terminal illness or loss of a parent or sibling.

“When Lisa and I got this going in 2014, we knew it would be something special but really had no idea just how far it would go,” said Moore. “God has really blessed us and we are so humbled.”

The program enables children to have some tremendous wildlife encounters.

“We love this program and it’s such an honor to work with these children. What we are doing is taking these kids and training them to be wildlife conservationists,” said Moore. “We are teaching them how to do wildlife photography, blog, talk in front of a camera and use animals from our zoological facility as ambassadors for endangered wildlife. It’s very exciting. We believe in them as people and in their potential and are more committed to kids and wildlife than ever.”

Moore loves to watch children interact with the animals.

“Encounters with these amazing animals do something special for the children,” said Moore. “It breaks through emotional barriers and allows to bring them a powerful Christ-centered message of hope.”

Chester Moore, Jr. holds an exotic Jacobin pigeon at Kingdom Zoo in Pinehurst
Photo courtesy of Chester Moore, Jr.

Kingdom Zoo is part of the Children’s Kingdom Ministries and all of its outreach programs. The non-profit organization teaches children about Christ through His Creation, according to the official website. The focus is on spiritual and wildlife education through media, encounter-based programs and mentoring.

Moore definitely got his passion for helping people and being involved in the community at an early age.

His grandmother was 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 small child, Chester would join his grandmother to see her give so many children happiness, giving him a heart for helping kids. He created “Wild Wishes” to continue his grandmother’s legacy in the very unique Kingdom Zoo.

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

The Moores are dedicated to wildlife conservation and education, regularly speaking to scout groups, civic organizations, school groups, and home school families.

They can’t wait to continue to bless Southeast Texas with their hard work and dedication to make lives better, both young and old.

“We want to continue to be good stewards of little things,” said Moore. “We want to be a blessing to the area.”

Meanwhile, Moore continues his tremendous writing of the great outdoors. He was recently honored by the Texas Outdoor Writer’s Association Conference in Corpus Christi for his longtime coverage of the red wolf. His first published article was on the subject of red wolves and red wolf/coyote hybrids existing in Texas back in 1992 when he was 19. Since then he has published more than 100 articles on the topic as well as dozens of broadcast on his long-running radio program on Newstalk 560 KLVI.

He is also Editor-In-Chief of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and also operates The Wildlife Journalist blog.