Artists come in all different shapes, sizes and…species! You’re familiar with the works of master painters Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo, yes? Let us introduce you to the artistic masterminds of Lucky Peanut the diamondback terrapin and Ace the otter, two of our four-flippered, paddle-pawed resident artists.
Using animal-safe paint, our animals create beautiful works of artistic genius! Animal art is a major component of the Aquarium’s animal care, enrichment and training program. Created by the Aquarium’s husbandry and vet staff, the enrichment program is designed to provide our animals with opportunities to express natural, species-appropriate behaviors. Animal art, like other forms of enrichment, encourages animals to explore and interact with their surroundings, promotes improved health, increases physical and mental stimulation, and fosters curiosity. Animal art isn’t the only form of enrichment we offer our animals. For example, we create makeshift piñatas bursting with fish for Liberty the bald eagle, 3D-printed puzzle toys for the octopus to solve, and frozen fishpops for the sea turtles. And much like people and their favorite hobbies, animals have enrichment preferences. While Ace loves to paint, his brother Stono doesn’t enjoy painting and prefers other forms of enrichment.