Western Lowland Gorilla
6" X 36" Oil on Board
Matt was the father of a brand new baby, Alika and head of the family
group of Western Lowland Gorillas at the Sedgwick County Zoo in
Wichita KS. He was 23 years old when I met him. There was another
baby on the way at the time with the other breeding female in his harem.
I don’t know if he was aware of that yet, but she likely was from the way
she was nesting alone. Matt seemed every bit the proud protective father
and would sometimes throw himself again the glass to assert himself.
Then he would rest again somewhere else, all the while keeping his eyes
Emerald is one of the Amur Leopards in the Endangered Species
breeding program at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita KA. Amur
leopards, native to Siberia, are the most endangered of the big cats.
Western Lowland Gorilla
16"x16" Oil on Board
I met Nzinga at the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2017. He and one other
silverback were new arrivals, forming the basis of a new bachelor troop.
24" x 24"
Bibi lives at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita KS. In 2022 she gave
birth to a new baby, Klyde Jr. This was a great surprise to the zoo staff
who had not known she was pregnant. Klyde, the father, had died earlier
that year. When I met them in 2016, Bibi was forever after Klyde hoping
to get impregnated. Klyde seemed befuddled and uninterested. He often
had bleeding scars on his face from where Bibi poked him. Nonetheless,
at some point out of sight of all staff, copulation had to have happened.
This is Bibi’s second child.
Black rhinos are the most endangered. Their upper lip is prehensile
(hand-like) and they pluck leaves off trees to eat. Their sight is weak but
their hearing is exceptional.
24" x 24" Oil on Board
I met this markhor at the L.A. Zoo where he was repeatedly ramming his horned head against a wrapped tree trunk. In lieu of ramming heads with another markhor, I suppose. The markhor is the largest of the wild goats and is the national animal of Pakistan. It is indigenous to the mountains of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. It is endangered because of the trophy hunters who travel to kill it and collect its spectacular “rack.”
36" x 36" Oil on Board
Zuberi, Xolani, and Simunye were among the six elephants that came to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita KA in early 2016. That’s where I met only a few months after their arrival from drought-stricken landlocked Swaziland in southern Africa. The zoos were helping Swaziland protect their rhino population in return. Zuberi was eight years old when I met her. She, Xolani, and Talia, another young female are likely cousins and were bonded as a trio when they landed. All the elephants arrived emaciated and quickly began adding weight. Food was abundant. Their new habitat was grassy, with mature trees, a pond, waterfall, stream, and a lake deep enough for complete immersion – all things they had likely never seen.