St. Louis Chapter of the American Association of ZooKeepers Animal Art

 

 

St. Louis AAZK zookeepers work to enrich the lives of the animals in their care every day. They add interesting and complex activities to the animals’ daily routine. Enrichment activities are fun for both animals and keepers.

 

The Saint Louis Zoo allows keepers to offer paint and canvas to some of our animals, resulting in beautiful works of art. Every original painting is very different from the next. Proceeds from the sale of animal artwork benefit the St. Louis Chapter of American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) for projects and programs to save endangered and threatened species from extinction.

 

 

 

*You can place an order by contacting our AAZK Animal Art Coordinator at:  stlanimalart@gmail.com

Payment is by credit card only and all artwork is shipped to you.  Please use the drop down menu below to choose your size. Shipping is included with all prices. 

 

 

Species that paint:

Aldabra Tortoise                        Bird

Chimpanzee                             Gorilla

Hellbender                               Hippo

Invertebrate                             Lizard or Skink

Orangutan                               Penguin

Rhino                                      Sea Lion

Snake                                     Turtle

Puffin                                     African Painted Dogs

Maned Wolves

Primate (species from the Primate House)

**Please note that not all sizes are available for each species.  When you send in your painting request, please let us know your preferred size, and we will let you know if we are able to accommodate that**

 

Animal Art FAQ

Thank you so much for your interest in our animals’ art and in supporting AAZK! We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your search for the perfect art piece.

  • Is every size available for every animal?

    • With several animals, our keepers can only work with certain size canvases. This helps maintain the integrity of the canvas and the quality of the painting. For example, an Aldabra tortoise will have a difficult time with a smaller canvas, given their weight. On the other hand, we usually stick to smaller sizes with larger mammals so that the keeper can easily manage the canvas while still allowing the animal to freely paint. When you send us your painting request, let us know which size you’re most interested in. If it’s unavailable, we will respond to let you know the next available size(s).

  • What is the general timeline for a painting on the waitlist?

    • We do not guarantee a specific timeline for a painting on the waitlist. As an enrichment activity that requires a lot of supervision, painting is not done on a regimented schedule; it is done when keepers have the time within both the keeper’s and the animal’s daily routines. There are also seasonal issues with some animals. For example, sea lions generally do not paint often during their summer show season.

  • Do you ship internationally?

    • Not at this time.

  • May I choose the colors of my painting?

    • Our paintings are not done on a request basis, they are a byproduct of enrichment sessions done for the animal’s own mental and physical stimulation. As such, we do not dictate color; our keepers choose which colors to use. However, though we cannot accommodate specific color requests, if we have something readily available that fits your specifications, we will reserve that painting for you.

  • May I see what the painting looks like before I choose it?

    • Due to the high volume of requests that we receive, our inventory is very fluid. It is not feasible for us to share images of the paintings.

  • Is it possible to get a photo of the animal while it paints my painting?

    •  The keepers paint with the animals as a form of enrichment, to stimulate them mentally and/or physically. As such, the keepers are involved very much with this process and monitoring the animals’ reactions to it. They are unable to take photos. We do have some photos of the species that paint, which we will email to you after purchase, if available. Occasionally, we have had extra hands to take photos during the process, but they are representative photos, and will not depict your specific painting.

  • Can I arrange to pick my painting up?

    • Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate order pickups due to staffing logistics and constraints. The paintings are only available via mail, but the cost of shipping is included in the price of the painting.

  • Can I pay extra to get faster shipping?

    • As a non-profit, volunteer organization, we are unable to accommodate these requests. We store these paintings off-site, and have a single set shipping date each week.            

  • I’ve submitted my payment, but there was nowhere to indicate which animal I want.

    • Not to worry! We maintain these details separately; PayPal is only used to conduct the purchase.

  • Do you have other items besides paintings?

    • We do! We offer prints of certain species’ paintings for $10 each. They are on high-quality paper and easily matted or framed.

  • Can you please call me?

    • We do not have a dedicated phone line for AAZK or the animal art program, and do not use the phone to discuss orders. Our policy is to communicate strictly with email, in order to keep a written record of our transactions, to ensure there is no confusion about what you requested and what you are getting.  Due to the nature of our jobs, we are not often near a phone or computer. We run the animal art program as volunteers, and sometimes there are multiple members of the team who work together on specific orders. Our policy is to communicate strictly with email, in order to keep a written record of our transactions, to ensure there is no confusion about what you requested and what you are getting.

  • Why do you list some species specifically, but use general terms with others?

    • Animal behavior constantly changes as the animals move through different stages of the year. For example, we have to accommodate breeding and molting seasons in many animals. There is also the chance that our team is facilitating the introduction of a new animal in their area or caring for an animal exhibiting abnormal behavior, which prevents them from using this form of enrichment with a particular species. For several of those areas, we have opted to provide the general term: snake, turtle, bird, insect, etc. so that we can give you a painting that best fits your needs as soon as possible. We still indicate the species that created your specific painting on the back of the canvas.

  • I don’t see the animal I was looking for. Any chance you’ll paint with others in the future?

    • We do receive paintings from other departments occasionally; please send us an inquiry and we’ll be honest with you about if that animal will paint. However, please be as specific as possible with which animal you are interested in.

  • Can I just get one of everything?

    • We cannot take orders that say “one of everything”, or “please let me know when any new animals paint” - unfortunately, with multiple members of our team working with orders, we must be as specific as possible in our database, so that there is no confusion in communication. However, if you ask us about a specific animal or a specific set of animals, we will do our best to work with those requests.

  • For large orders (5+):

    • Please provide a list with the specific animal(s) and sizes you are looking for. This helps ensure we do not miss anything in your order!