January 14, 2009

Man outraged by zoo’s Buddha statues

A patron at Missouri's Kansas City Zoo has complained about the zoo's Buddha statues, calling them infuriating to God.

David Engle said he was shocked when he saw zoo visitors rubbing the heads and bellies of two smiling Buddha statues at the entrance to the zoo's Tiger Trail area while visiting the attraction with his family, the Kansas City Star reported Wednesday.

Engle, a Christian, described the presence of the statues as idolatry and infuriating to God.

We can't have a cross or a nativity scene on public property, the Overland Park, Kan., man said. It is phenomenal to me that the zoo would put up Buddha statues.

Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said Engle's complaint was the first he has received about the statues since they were purchased a few years ago to accent the Tiger Trail's Asian theme.

The zoo stays out of all politics and religion, Wisthoff said. I'm sorry somebody interpreted it that way. I appreciate his comments and concerns. We will discuss it with our board leadership and see if they want me to get rid of them.