Animals at the Oakland Zoo in California are being given the chance to explore their creative side. Elephants, monkeys, snakes, lemurs and bats, as well as many other animals, are creating paintings that will be auctioned off for charity, according to the Washington Post.
Zookeepers initiate regular painting sessions with the animals. "Some use paintbrushes and some like to fingerpaint," said Margaret Rousser, the zoo's manager, according to USA Today. "We hold up the canvas and let them choose their colors and paint."
While the animals were not forced to do the activity, they were rewarded with treats as they dabbed their trunks, paws and claws on the canvas. Some of the animals learned to hold paint brushes with their mouths.
About 32 paintings have been produced so far and these are being auctioned off, according to the Oakland Zoo.
"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 Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo, via Patch. "The Animal Art Show is also a perfect example of how the entire Oakland Zoo staff embraces our conservation efforts, from our Marketing Department to our Animal Care team. We hope the lucky winners of this unique art know that they took action for wildlife every time they look at it."
The auction will run until Sept. 20.
Watch this video to see how the animals paint their masterpieces: