CULTURE & ARTS

Zoo Auctions Off Artwork Made By ... Animals?

Art gone wild.

These animals are taking modern art to a whole new level. 

The Buttonwood Park Zoo in Massachusetts is holding an auction of fine art pieces -- made by the zoo's animals. Elephants, seals, beavers and more use their mouths and snouts to hold paintbrushes and create shockingly professional and original works of art. Or, they just drop the brushes and go for some good ole' fashion paw-painting. 

You can barely tell that these were made by creatures without opposable thumbs:

But the animals aren't just casual artists: they're doing it for a cause. The program is part of the zoo's second annual "Art Gone Wild" fundraiser to benefit its growing education and conservation programs. Last year, they raised nearly $4,000.

The animal's artistic processes come somewhat naturally, thanks to an enhanced training program. 

"It's really important that the animals and the keepers have a strong relationship, so when they ask them to do different behaviors, they respond to a word-based command," Lindsey Audunson, the zoological program coordinator, told The Huffington Post.

This video shows the zoo's Harbor Seal, Blue, channeling his creative energy into painting a picture using a brush held in his mouth:

Many of you have seen the great artwork being created by the animals at the Zoo. Many have also wondered how the animals create these masterpieces. This video shows one of our star artists showing off his talent. One of the key components of this program is the strong bond the animals have with their zoo keepers. These enhanced training skills allows zoo keepers to paint with various zoo species in a reward based process. You can help support this great effort by bidding on some of the art available through the Zoo’s Art Gone Wild auction. All proceeds from the art sales go directly to supporting the Zoo’s education and conservation programs.https://www.bpzoo.org/art-gone-wild/

Posted by Buttonwood Park Zoo on Monday, December 14, 2015

This year's auction will feature 50 pieces of original artwork painted by 10 different species of animals, and is set to close Tuesday, Dec. 15th, at 9 p.m. EST.

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