Orange County wildlife ministry expands with special event; donation this week helps effort

Published 6:52 am Friday, January 27, 2023

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While Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center has served a multitude of children, co-founder Chester Moore knows there are more to be reached.

“What we found is, especially during the pandemic era, is there are so many more children hurting in isolation,” he said Thursday after being presented with a grant from the Port Arthur Sertoma Club. “All of these things have kind of compounded issues with kids. So we’re going to be giving some extra special attention and reaching a bunch of kids with this that we normally wouldn’t.”

More than 10 years ago, the outdoors journalist and his wife created a ministry in Orange for children that have critical illnesses, have lost a parent or sibling, or have been a victim of human trafficking.

“Our mission is to bring the love of Christ to children through wildlife encounters,” he said.

The $2,000 grant given to the Port Arthur club from Sertoma International goes towards a special event in April that extends beyond the general wildlife encounter by including expeditions and visits to private ranches.

“We thank you for all the good work you do for the kids, and we’re happy we can support it,” said Bert Black while presenting the grant on behalf of the club.

Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center

As a child, Moore would often fish and hunt with his father. And at 19, he launched what would become a life-long journalism career, currently serving as editor-in-chief of Texas Fish and Game Magazine.

Love for God and wildlife combined when Moore and his wife created the non-profit zoological facility that has 35 species of exotic animals.

They often work with groups such as Girls Haven and Boys Haven.

Through Wild Wishes, the non-profit grants wildlife-related wishes for children in need.

“We doubled the number of kids that have been in (the) program in one year,” he said. “We broke the 200 barrier of kids in the program.”

— Written by Monique Batson