Picassos with Paws

Once a year we break out the animal-safe paint and let the park residents try their paws at art. What started as a chance for just the wolves explore their artistic sides has now blossomed into every species getting a chance to play along. Some actively enjoy painting, some just like trailing for treats. Whatever their interest, it’s enriching for both species and leads to some lovely pictures.

Renki had a hard time this year. Usually he enjoys painting but he moves in awkward lunges now and it was hard for him to balance on the paper. He ended up lying in the paint, which didn’t do much for his artistry, but it led to a colorful wolf.

This was Timber’s first experience with paint and she loved it. She’s two, she’s bouncy, and every new thing needs to be rolled in and explored. She turned herself very green and orange. Fortunately, she jumped into a splash tank as soon as she finished painting so she wasn’t too badly stained.

The coyotes, on the other paw, are currently a mess. Twister and Monty the staff photographer made a game out of it and Twister is now very purple.

Intern Khaz had ideas about how bison could nose paint, so we drove out in the field armed with touch sticks, sweet feed and food coloring. The bison provided us with a variety of nose prints of their own. Khaz informs us that nose prints in cattle are as distinctive as human fingerprints and are used by farmers as a way of identifying cows.

Not everyone wanted to paint (Fiona ate a painting instead of stepping on it) but everyone had the chance. It’s something novel and different which enriches their lives and ours. The paintings will be up for auction during Walk for Wolves. We might even try a few online if there is interest out on the internet.

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