Animals being removed from Beauvoir - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Animals being removed from Beauvoir

Nearly 60-animals will be removed from Beauvoir in Biloxi by the end of the year. The executive director of the property claims he is being forced to sell, relocate, or get rid of them. (Photo source: WLOX) Nearly 60-animals will be removed from Beauvoir in Biloxi by the end of the year. The executive director of the property claims he is being forced to sell, relocate, or get rid of them. (Photo source: WLOX)
Greg Stewart started with five sheep and four peacocks. Since then, the menagerie has grown to include goats, ponies, llamas, a zebu, a camel, horses, chickens, and turkeys. (Photo source: WLOX) Greg Stewart started with five sheep and four peacocks. Since then, the menagerie has grown to include goats, ponies, llamas, a zebu, a camel, horses, chickens, and turkeys. (Photo source: WLOX)
"There's an attachment there. It'll be tough to let them go, but that's the way it is," said Stewart. (Photo source: WLOX) "There's an attachment there. It'll be tough to let them go, but that's the way it is," said Stewart. (Photo source: WLOX)
Many members of the Beauvoir Board believe the animals pose a liability risk. They raised concerns about goats butting a car, a camel hurting a visitor, and animal waste on the grounds. (Photo source: WLOX) Many members of the Beauvoir Board believe the animals pose a liability risk. They raised concerns about goats butting a car, a camel hurting a visitor, and animal waste on the grounds. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Nearly 60-animals will be removed from Beauvoir in Biloxi by the end of the year. The executive director of the property claims he is being forced to sell, relocate, or get rid of them. But this past Sunday, the board said it only voted to reduce the number of animals that have made Beauvoir their home.

"It's a sweet baby," Greg Stewart said as he picked up a day-old baby goat.

It was one of two goats born at Beauvoir this week.

"I delivered them both by hand," Stewart said proudly.

Stewart started the petting zoo when he took over as executive director of Beauvoir last year. His vision was to offer a different attraction to draw more families to the shrine for Jefferson Davis and the Confederate soldiers.

"The struggle was to broaden the market, to get as many people through the gate as we could. And if they didn't know about Jefferson Davis, we might get them through the gate with the animal attraction. And it worked," said Stewart.

He started with five sheep and four peacocks. Since then, the menagerie has grown to include goats, ponies, llamas, a zebu, a camel, horses, chickens, and turkeys.

"Our attendance went up and we were able to raise the gate fee, too," said Stewart.

But many members of the Beauvoir Board believe the animals pose a liability risk. They raised concerns about goats butting a car, a camel hurting a visitor, and animal waste on the grounds. Board member Cecil Fayard told us the board did not vote to get rid of all the animals, just the goats and larger ones like the llamas and zebu. The rest would be contained in pens or fences on the property. The deadline is December 31.

"I'm not going to pen up an animal so people can just look at them, like caged animals," said Stewart.

When asked if the vote was a shock, he replied, "No, it's been building for awhile."

Stewart said some of the animals will go to nearby farms. Others will be returned to their owners or sold.

"There's an attachment there. It'll be tough to let them go, but that's the way it is," said Stewart. "My first responsibility is to execute whatever the board says and to make the best of it, no matter what I think of it."

Stewart said a local church has offered to take any remaining animals, except the 18-goats. Stewart said he will work with the board to figure out how to bring other attractions to Beauvoir.

"There is an element in our membership that might have been insulted a little bit of something that might be attractive other than Jefferson Davis. I get that. I've been a member for 20 years, and I also know what the outside world is like. And in order to get them in here too, and hope to educate them about Jefferson Davis, I can't be restricted like that and hope to keep the place open," he said.

WLOX tried to contact the board president for a comment, but he did not return our phone call.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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