It's hard to trump the life-sized baby I skipped a year of donating except for smaller silent auction items. So in 2014 I came back with a
totally new and unique idea. My father, Ricky Bevan, made this solid wood barn star and I was determined to paint on it. With the 2014 theme being
"Unforgettable", to commemorate the zoo's animals that had left or passed, I had the paint the 5 most memorable animals. Thus, the Zoo Stars.
All artwork and information (C) to Cara Bevan and Art from the Heart.   
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NC Zoo Art
"NC Zoo Stars"
3D 41" tall and wide solid wood
(C) Cara Bevan 2014
Lower Left Point: Baby giraffe Juma is being nuzzled by her mother Jamili. Juma was one of the many prides of the zoo. She was born in
2012 and charmed zookeeper and visitor alike. Most babies are shy and stick close to their mothers but Juma was hyper, silly, and
explored the huge enclosure. She even pestered the gentle ostriches and zookeepers were forced to keep Zebras off exhibit so Juma
wouldn't get hurt. Due to space issues, Juma had to be transferred to another zoo in 2013. The zoo certainly still misses their frisky little
Right Point: This is Aquila the polar bear, the last bear to be on exhibit at the NC zoo. There used to be two bears but the exhibit was
undergoing renovation and they were moved to other zoos. Old Wilhelm was in another zoo when he passed but Aquila came back. He then
succumbed to a sudden condition here. The zoo is still renovating the polar bear exhibit and hopes to be approved to hold more polar bears,
including females and eventually cubs.
Northern Point: Gorilla Nkosi (aka: Nik) carrying his son Apollo. Nik was
a surprisingly intelligent and fatherly gorilla, very few males even care
to handle their offspring. Nik would carry and play with Apollo and
Bomassa, his sons, and when the boys would argue Nik would comfort
the distraught mothers after the kids were disciplined. He was unlike
any other and the zoo misses him dearly. Nik died of a suddenly of
encephalitis that brought sorrow to all who knew him.
Lower Right Point: The zoo's very own cougar, Oliver, recently died of old age related
issues at age 14. The new cubs below him are from CA, after a licensed hunter killed a
mother a noticed with horror that she had cubs. He sought out the den and rescued the
newborns. They made a special flight here to NC and they were hand reared until they
were able to be in Oliver's enclosure. It was sad to lose Oliver but we're happy to be
able to rescue the new cubs who might've had nowhere else to go.
Left Point: This elephant is C'sar, one of the original elephants the zoo obtained. When the zoo was just starting in the 70's, with only a
handful of animals, a local business owner bought the elephant from another zoo. Now C'sar is 38 years old and had cataract surgery a year
or two ago. The lack of eyesight made him depressed but with new vision he's back to his good ol' self. A very memorable member of the zoo!
The "NC Zoo Stars" will be auctioned September 6th, 2014. The Zoo staff is already excited to see the star and I'm
hoping it'll help a little bit more in the funding of this amazing zoo!

This project took the entire month of April 2014. I spend a recorded amount of
119 hours and 25 minutes painting it.