An Orangutan Who Paints!
by Vanessa Peng, KVRR Reporter
January 07, 2013
A local artist is showing off his latest work at a new art display in Wahpeton, North Dakota.
But, this artist sometimes likes to eat the paint.
Sometimes an artist needs to brood or take a walk before he tackles his next masterpiece.
"It's fun for him, " said Kathy Diekman the Chahinkapa Zoo director.
Talukan who is known to most as Tal is the resident painter at the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton.
"It's an enrichment for him. We give our animals enrichment to enhance their lives in captivity, " said Diekman.
A 275 pound orangutan who is selling out, but it's alright, he is helping the zoo.
"100% of the proceeds from it goes to conservation at Chahinkapa Zoo, 100 %, " said Diekman.
Vibrant colors splashed on canvas, on display and for sale at the Wahpeton Community Center.
They display will run until the end of next month.
Tal uses non–toxic paint and all kinds of brushes to create his works of art.
As for the masterpieces himself, he only paints when he wants.
"It's like an artist. He decides when he is and when he isn't, " said Tom Schmaltz, Chahinkapa Zoo Curator.
"It's voluntary only. We'd have a lot more paintings if it wasn't, " said Diekman.
A picky primate, right down to colors.
" He tends to want to eat the yellow so we tend to not use as much yellow, " said Diekman.
Does Schmaltz have any theories on why he likes to eat the yellow?
"No, could be because it looks like a banana, " said Schmaltz.
As for what type of artist he is?
"I would say he's abstract, " said Schmaltz.
From an ape who has an eye for art and he does it all without any of the monkey business.