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Sketching Giraffes at the Calgary Zoo


giraffe sketches in pencil

Visiting the zoo in the winter (a freezing cold January, to be exact) is a very different experience than summer trips. Not only are a number of enclosures closed, but many of the tropical-loving animals have been moved indoors.


When I was visiting The Calgary Zoo, the giraffes were one of the many residents who had been moved for the season. They were now in an indoor space, tall enough to accommodate their height. The enclosure had many trees, branches, and zookeepers spoiling the giraffes with wheelbarrows of tasty treats.


I managed to get a bit of sketching done, but giraffes (although they aren’t crazy fast movers while standing and eating) do not remain still. A challenge, as always, when drawing live animals.


It was inspiring to be able to be so close to these tall creatures. In their outdoor enclosures there is more room to roam, so they often end up too far away to really study. During my visit, their indoor enclosure was separated with a moat and had a private area, but the giraffes were so busy eating they didn’t mind me.

giraffe sketches in pencil


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