An elephant, goat and cockroach are just some of the animals who got artsy for a good cause

By Amy Jamieson
September 08, 2015 07:42 PM

You’ve never seen a cockatoo paint before? Today that changes.

A slew of animals, including this bird, are getting their art on at California’s Oakland Zoo, thanks to a conservation program that has them painting for charity.

The zoo’s Animal Art Show also includes artwork created by an elephant, a meerkat, a lemur, a goat, a sun bear, a giraffe, a hyena, a siamang, a chuckwalla, a snake, a chimpanzee, a lion, a ferret, a cockroach, a squirrel monkey, a bat, a river otter, and a green monkey (whose favorite color is blue not green, despite popular belief).

The zoo says none of the animals were forced to paint for the exhibition, but instead the works of art were created in sessions supervised by zoo staff and involved only positive reinforcement (read: yummy treats!). All animals participated of their own accord.

Non-toxic, water based paints were used on the canvases, thirty-two of which are being auctioned off on eBay Sept. 10-20th to benefit Oakland Zoo’s conservation partners, who are working to save animals, the zoo said.

“The Animal Art Show is a triple win; it provides fun enrichment for our animals, helps support the conservation of wildlife, and draws public attention to the various conservation challenges that animals face,” said conservation director Amy Gotliffe. “We hope the lucky winners of this unique art know that they took action for wildlife every time they look at it.”

The masterpiece of an elephant named Donna – seen here in this video released by the zoo – would look lovely in that spot right above your dining room table. Watch as she paints by holding a brush in her trunk and makes zookeepers dance around in an effort to catch her strokes. Plus, we bet you can’t guess how a bat holds a paint brush!

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