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Zoo Animals Paint Pictures To Help Stimulate Their Minds

Back in 2005, three paintings made headlines after selling for $25,000 at an auction house. While this isn’t a large amount of money to be paid for a collection of artwork, it was more about who the artist was. The paintings were created by an ape and were the first of their kind to be sold. This gave zoos an idea. They were already offering painting as a stimulating activity for primates and other animals, so why not make some money off of it too?

A market has been created for these animal-created masterpieces. The Washington Post’s Jane Desmond explains this trend the best:

“This unlikely yet widespread practice generates a modest ongoing source of income in U.S. zoos, dependent on paintings made by gorillas, elephants, sea lions, birds and even stingrays and snakes, all sold in zoo gift shops and online. There is even a wider transnational market for art made by animals, with dolphins painting in Lithuania, elephants painting in Thailand, and primates painting in Australia.”

Photo credit: The Washington Post

Photo credit: The Washington Post

For more on this story, check out this video from The Washington Post.

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