Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center achieves 200 “Wild Wishes” for children

Published 12:18 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

PINEHURST — Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center officials granted their 200 “Wild Wishes” for children at the center’s ranch on Dec. 17.

Since 2014, Wild Wishes granted wildlife encounters for children who have lost a parent, sibling or have a critical illness.

“Our first wish was to meet a zebra in January 2014,” said Chester Moore, co-founder of program and Kingdom Zoo Wildlife Center. “We have now granted wish encounters to boys and girls in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado and Florida.”

In 1982 Moore’s grandmother, Ruby Pickard, founded My Wish Inc. to grant wishes to terminally ill children.

“I accompanied her when she granted that first wish when I was only 8 years old,” Moore said. “The boy wanted an American flag for his home, a humble request and one that left a powerful mark on my spirit. We now do Wild Wishes for kids to help them in their healing process and know that good things can still come to their life. In other words, to bring hope.”

The non-profit recently raised $5,000 to fund the effort.

Moore said there are a lot of expenses that go with what they do, adding bills range from animal feed and vet care to gifts and travel.

“It took about a month to raise the money, and we used Facebook to advertise the fundraiser,” he said. “We utilize Facebook two to three times a year.”

Sometimes, the center pays for families to come to the ranch, or the center travels to the child.

They have been as far as Colorado to grant three wishes.

— Written by Sierra Kondos