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Her Father’s Zoo

DSCF1724June Williams was only four when her father bought seven acres of land to build a “zoo without bars”.

Growing up with exotic animals, one of her closest friends was Mary the chimpanzee. June tried to teach Mary to tie a knot but never succeeded.

She inherited her father’s empathy for animals and recalls his creativity in finding ways to secure chimpanzees with moats and big cats with wire mesh to give them as much open space as possible. Today, Chester Zoo, founded in 1930 by her father, George Mottershead, is home to 11,000 animals on 110 acres of land. As a forerunner of modern zoos the keepers who carry on her father’s legacy pride themselves in animal welfare, education, and conservation.

Solomon, in all of the wisdom God gave him, is also remembered for his knowledge of all kinds of animals (1Kings 4:33). His interest in apes, and monkeys wasn’t just a curious hobby (1Kings 10:22). When he wrote that, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals” (Proverbs 12:10), he was bringing us back to basics. If we don’t care for the animals entrusted to us, how will we understand that this is our Father’s world?

Perhaps growing up, like June— with animal friends (more than the cars and computers of our own making), could even help us better learn how to be our brother’s keeper. :-)


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78 Responses to “Her Father’s Zoo”

  1. bubbles says:

    There is a dog in the neighborhood who is tied up to a plastic dog house with no insulation. He lives a life of quiet desperation. He is in the blazing hot sun and now it’s cold. I’ve called authorities but they said as long as the “shelter has a top and two sides, it’s not abuse. He is lonely and bored. Animals need fellowship and love. The way he’s treated speaks negative volumes of his owners. Why are people so cruel? Animals are like little children who need loved and protected. I dread this winter.

  • SFDBWV says:

    Though not true to Scripture, the most recent cinematic interpretation of the story of Noah with Russell Crowe carries the concept that animals are “the innocent” and our responsibility.

    Many people I have known have no business having “pets”. In fact like driving a car or adopting children perhaps people should be licensed or go through a process before being able to.

    It is interesting that all the discarded animals that have to be killed are killed because of the abandonment and neglect of a person.

    Still killing animals in order to cover up the sins of mankind.

    Steve