January 15, 2009
Zoo statues not Buddhas
A Buddhist leader said two statues at Missouri's Kansas City Zoo that sparked a complaint from a patron are not images of Buddha, but of a pot-bellied Ho Tai.
Lama Chuck Stanford, executive and spiritual director of the Rime Buddhist Center, spoke after an Overland Park, Kan., man complained to a zoo employee that the statues, which he identified as depictions of Buddha, offended him as a Christian, the Kansas City Star reported Thursday.
I have seen them,Stanford said of the statues.
They are statues of Ho Tai, the patron saint of children in China and Japan. He is closer to Santa Claus.