A whopping 42 animals spanning a lengthy 32m long can be seen sprinting, bounding, and sauntering along a new mural as visitors disembark from the Zu-loop bus at Monarto Safari Park.
Digitally created by Zoos SA Associate veterinarian Jerome Kalvas, ‘Monarto’s Great Race’ depicts the species currently living at Monarto Safari Park in order from slowest to fastest.
“The tortoises’ max speed would be no more than 0.1kmph while the Cheetah’s maximum speed is more like 110kmpm,” says veterinarian Jerome Kalvas.
“In the ten years that I’ve worked here, I think that I’ve had my hands on, or treated every animal in the mural.
“Being a vet has definitely helped me in terms of getting the animals’ anatomy right. I wanted to make sure that everything looked realistic and that they looked like they were in motion.
“The species with the patterns were the most challenging to draw; the giraffe, cheetah and zebra. They were certainly the ones that took the most time.
“I hope the artwork excites our visitors and gets them thinking about conservation. The piece is called Monarto’s Great Race and we hope that the animals in it are racing away from extinction rather than towards it.
The artwork took Jerome six months to complete in between his busy life as a vet and father of three, the latter of which were not forgotten during the creative process. “As well as hiding a Pygmy Blue-tongue lizard somewhere in the picture for visitors to spot, I also wrote the names of my daughters on their chosen animals. The names are subtle enough that visitors won’t see them but the girls will know they’re there,” finished Jerome.
Monarto’s Great Race is viewable outside the Safari Shop and when exiting the Zu-loop tour bus. Prints, cards, and merchandise depicting the murals’ images will be available to purchase in the Safari Shop. The artwork is also part of this month’s SALA festival along with an exhibition of Monarto Safari Park’s history in the Saana Exhibition Room.
A leaflet ‘Art at the Park’ lists these and other artworks around the site and is available from the Information Hut.
For more information about visiting Monarto Safari Park, please go to www.monartosafari.com.au