mrs d and cast

by B J Beckman

Kingman Petting Zoo received wonderful additions this Christmas.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, Primerose, a private zoo in southern Ohio, was forced to close its gates.  The owner contacted several zoos, Kingman was among them.  “We have known the owner for about ten years,” said Nick Kingman, veterinary and head popper scooper, “My wife said ‘Certainly we can take a few’, before I even had a chance to think it over.”

brothers whilhem and jacob

Their Primrose establishment will be taken by the bank in foreclosure. The owners have caught poachers on the land on several occasions. Knowing that no one would be there to protect them, the free roaming birds were in danger. “As you can imagine moving the mother duck and her eggs was a very precarious undertaking. Stress was a major concern. But as you can see, she and all the little ones arrived safely,” said Dr. Kingman. “However, Jacob was traumatized.  Nervous tension had him roaming around in circles for nearly two days. I had to sedate him so he could get some sleep. My daughter slept with him in the barn and now he follows her wherever she goes.”

Nick and wife Freda have owned and operated the zoo for twenty years while raising three children. Along with their teenagers, they run the zoo and also foster animals for New Grace Animal League. At present they have two dogs who should be ready for adoption soon.

Donna and PrimaThe first animal Dr. Kingman brought home was a lamb with a broken leg. Then a rabbit who had given birth to five babies and three had died, he wouldn’t leave them alone so they came home with him. “We never intended to open a petting zoo. It just happened. The next thing I remember we are selling our perfect little house in the suburbs and moving to a rundown farm in the country,” said Freda Kingman. “Most days I don’t regret it.”

After two weeks adjusting to their environment the new family members are ready to join the other animals interacting with visitors to their home. Please come by and welcome them to New Grace.

Kingman Petting Zoo is located at 4216 Stallion Court, Godfrey, SC.