New England Aquarium visitors can take home an unusual souvenir to remember their visit: a painting created by Cayenne, a harbor seal, or one of her colleagues.
Twice a week, on Mondays and Saturdays at 11 a.m., participants are invited to watch one of seven adult harbor seals craft a painting with a modified brush, according to Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the aquarium.
Some seals hold the brush with their mouths, but others prefer them attached to their flippers.
“Just like people, each of them has their preference,” LaCasse said.
This is the first time visitors can watch the seals create the paintings, but the program has been going on for several years, according to LaCasse.
The activity serves as a form of enrichment for both the seals and visitors, as trainers are present to educate guests about the species.
“I remember being struck by how Chacoda [one of the seals] was excited about what had happened,” LaCasse said. “He saw that the canvas looked different than from when he began.”
The experience and painting cost $100 to $150 per person depending on the size of the artwork, in addition to the aquarium’s $26.95 adult ticket price. Discounted rates are available for members.