Alika was only 10-days-old when I first met her at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita in 2016. For the first nine days the zoo kept her and her whole family in the private quarters to make sure her first-time mama, Barika, was up to the task of mothering. She was. Mama Barika would be holding Alika 24/7 for the next year until she was strong enough to cling to mama’s fur on her own.
These portraits are 11×14, oil on canvas board. I painted most of them in the winter and spring of 2018/19 because I needed to sit to work. A slow-healing foot injury had me off my feet.
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