(ANIMAL NEWS) FLORIDA — What began as an enrichment activity for zoo animals at Zoo Miami has now become a full-fledged art show. What’s an elephant’s preferred medium? Nontoxic paints mixed with spices on canvas, of course. Floridians now have the chance to purchase these beautiful works of art at “Savage,” Zoo Miami’s first art show by animals, for animals.
Admission is free, and all proceeds from art sales will help Zoo Miami buy equipment used to study and conserve the very rare Florida Bonneted Bat, as well as the migratory birds that pass through South Florida. Read more to find out the four-legged art show, “Savage,” and check out the stunning gallery below. — Global Animal
Nellie the Elephant makes her happy noises when she gets to paint. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Huffington Post, Amanda McCorquodale

This Saturday, Bakehouse Art Complex is hosting “Savage,” an exhibit by animals for animals.

Critters and beasts from Zoo Miami used their snouts, trunks, and feet to paint one-of-a-kind artworks. Art sales will benefit conservation efforts at the local zoo and beyond.

And before animal rights activists get worked up about the bright paint on Roshe the Tiger’s chin, zoo staff says the animals’ well-being was a top priority.

Zoo Miami’s Conservation and Research Manger Frank Ridgley confirms that all paints used were nontoxic tempura paint.

What’s more, he told HuffPost Miami that many animals greeted the canvas and paints enthusiastically.

He said, “One elephant makes her ‘happy’ squeaks while painting.” You can watch the video of Nellie happily painting on Zoo Miami’s Facebook page.

Ridgley adds, “Keepers often incorporate the painting into enrichment activities. Putting scents and spices in the paint stimulate activity and exploration.”

Zoo Miami and the South Florida Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (SFAAZK) present “Savage,” Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m at the Bakehouse Art Complex.

There will also be food trucks, live music, raffles, and a silent auction. Some the four-legged Picassos will be onsite to hear your praise. Admission is free.

Otter gets intense over green

An otter shows off his artistry skills. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
An otter shows off his artistry skills. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Crocodile gives art a bite

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
An alligator has fun with paint. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Curassow walks for art

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
A curassow takes up painting at the Miami Zoo. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Tree Kangaroo with a paintbrush

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
Look at those brush strokes! Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Patty the Tree Kangaroo

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
A tree kangaroo learns how to use a paint brush at the Miami Zoo. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Mohan the Rhino channels Jackson Pollock

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
A Rhino takes up painting at the Miami Zoo. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Pygmy hippo’s natural brush

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
How do you get paint there? Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Meerkats hit the canvas

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
Meerkats painting their masterpiece at the Miami Zoo. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

Roshe the Tiger mouths off with paint

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami
A tiger gets sloppy, painting at the Miami Zoo. Photo Credit: Zoo Miami

More Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/zoo-miami-savage-paint_n_1250537.html#s658540&title=Patty_the_Tree

For more information from Zoo Miami, please click this poster.

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