Original Outlets of Expression.
Some animals are expressing their creative abilities through art!From African elephant and penguins to Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, they are all trained to do many different behaviors. Behaviors are often classified into categories such as husbandry, cooperative feeding, voluntary veterinary procedures, and natural behaviors (such as an orangutan brachiating). Painting is a category all its own! Just like all of the other training these amazing animals participate in, keepers use operant conditioning and positive reinforcement during the painting process. The artists were taught how to paint by receiving treats as they learned the steps (i.e. holding the brush, dipping the brush, touching the brush to paper or walking through trays and onto paper). They now have learned what it means when their trainers come in with paint and paper and know that treats are just a few creatively placed strokes away!