A pair of tigers at a zoo in California, USA were seen painting pictures as part of an animal art project, with their work set to be auctioned.
Jocelyn Smeltzer, the supervisor of the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary said at least one of the paintings created by 17-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger Pouncer will be auctioned off at the opening reception of the zoo’s art exhibit “Animal Paintings” on March 29, The Sacramento Bee reported.
According to Smeltzer, the art program first began in 1995 with Fisher, a black bear. Since then, it has developed to include other animals living at the sanctuary, such as lions, deer, wolf hybrids, snakes and ferrets.
The supervisor says sometimes the paintings end up looking like flower petals. She added that painting can enrich the lives of the animals, who also find the activity fun. Only the animals that show interest in painting are involved.
Caretaker at the zoo Van der Molen says normally the animals are enticed by food rewards in order to get them to paint, but for avid tigers like Pouncer, painting is a reward itself. The paint the animals use is washable and non-toxic. In addition, the paint has an effect similar to that of catnip.
The paintings created by the animals are expected to be shown at the exhibit through April 26 at the Folsom Senior Center and Public Art Center located in Folsom City, California. The reception and the exhibit will be free to the public and the proceeds from the auction will be used solely for the animals’ benefits.