When traveling to Iowa, it is best to fly in through Omaha, because mainly, who doesn’t love Nebraska? Also, it is cheaper and only a couple of hours away from Des Moines. Back in August when my mom, Aimee and I ventured to Iowa, this is what we did. Since we were in Omaha with a preschooler and had just been on a plane for hour (s) and were going to drive for a couple of hours, we decided to go to the Omaha Zoo. That way we could walk around and get rid of all the blood clot potential we had made on the plane and let Aimee burn off some energy. In a wagon.
Anyway, we found this painting in the gift shop and I had to get it for Rob. The snake painted the picture. Now I have heard and seen elephants paint pictures, but at this zoo they had tons of pictures painted by different animals.
Unfortunately I don’t know many details about the painting. the set up, the materials, etc. I do know it is pretty awesome though, and that the snake painted it on July 1st, 2011. The talented snake is a Dumeril’s Ground Boa or Acrantophis Dumerili.
The Dumeril’s Ground Boa is from southern Madagascar and nocturnal, they are endangered and could have a captive lifespan of around 30 years. They can get to be a good size of about 5 feet but are usually smaller but can get up to around 7 feet. They are pretty thick and more of a flat snake, so round on top and flat on bottom, like a blood python. Their diet usually consists of birds in the wild, or a good size mouse or rat in captivity, depending. Definitely more of a ground ambush sort of animal, so in the wild the birds would be ground nested.
A note on their endangerment, about 10 years ago these snakes were exceedingly rare and essential unavailable, but due to private breeding their numbers have increased so vastly in the past 10 years that they have not only been removed from the endangered species protection list, but are also very available cheaply through breeders or at local snake shops for around one hundred dollars. That’s pretty cool.
Here are some more pictures of the picture.
There are some wood and debris in the middle part of the picture.
Now all that remains is the mystery of how this snake painted the picture. Obviously on the ground and by slithering around the canvas, but did they dip the snake in paint or did they glob the paint onto the canvas. The latter is my guess given in the picture on the back of the canvas the snake isn’t completely covered with paint. Different gobs of different colors mixed with snake dancing = fantastic painting.
Now why is it okay to do this? A few reasons, I am positive the snake did not mind and they used paints that you would use with children, ones that are safe and bright and fun. Next, snakes love to soak in water, so that makes for easy clean up. Last and most importantly, snakes shed their skin, so even if some paint couldn’t get off, it would come off with the old skin. They are almost ideal candidates for animal painting activities.
Now to figure out how to frame it and where in our future residence to hang it!