Thursday, August 11, 2005

Elephant Art

A few years ago there was an elephant at a zoo who would lure ducks into her habitat and then squash them once they were close enough. A veterinarian suggested to the zookeepers that they give her a hobby to help ease her stress. They turned to art. Now, more than a decade later, Zoos all over the world help promote wellness in their elephants (and even monkeys) by handing them a paintbrush and some paints and letting their imaginations run wild. This art sells upwards to $300.

5 Comments:

Blogger actonbell said...

Hey, I remember reading in either Smithsonian or National Geo about a painting elephant. Wonder if it's the same one? Poor ducks! The elephant really needed some anger management, for sure. That painting reminds me of some Japanese art--it's beautiful! And an elephant painted it. Fascinating.

8/14/2005 10:57 AM  
Blogger Cade said...

Thanks for the comment, Actonbell.

A LOT of their work looks unbelievably beautiful. It was difficult to select one to post.

8/15/2005 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Deepti said...

this is awesomee! i saw it on tv...but it looks great in this blog.

8/20/2005 5:40 AM  
Blogger chuckawucka said...

More than anything, I'm interested on how it arrived at the decision that squishing ducks would be an "appropriate" stress reliever as opposed to bashing something against something else.

Painting for an elephant's not bad, though. It reminds me of Koko the gorilla. She paints and uses sign language to communicate. And some of the artwork isn't that bad - especially when she can explain how she does it.

8/21/2005 1:17 PM  
Blogger John said...

I saw a bunch of these at a museum one time. They do this with their trunks (obviously) but that's such good coordination.

They say that they pick colors based on their moods and that the trainers who spend time with them can tell. Why not, I guess. Apparently they have some sense for composition, too.

8/29/2005 11:28 PM  

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