Painting at the Zoo

Frank Zappa once said that “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.” Perhaps that explains why some of the elephants’ paintings at Zoo Atlanta sell for up to $1800 each!

The Zoo’s other budding Picasso’s include an African Black Crow, a Rhinoceros and some Gorillas.

Lisa Smith is the enrichment Co-coordinator for the Zoo. “Animals that are mentally stimulated do better in captivity. They cope better with the added stress of being in enclosures. Each animal uses their own techniques to paint and all the elephants have their own preferences. Some like to stick it up their trunk an some hold it sideways. They can swish the brush, they can move it up and down and the elephants really enjoy looking at their painting and studying it. “

Adam Stone interacts with the elephants every day and he told us that they’ve been painting for 17 or 18 years now. “Elephants are extremely intelligent and so the opportunity to work for food and interact with their trainer keeps them happy.”

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