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A cash-strapped New Mexico zoo is selling paintings by — not of — its animals

A New Mexico zoo is trying to raise money during its coronavirus closure by selling paintings — by the zoo’s animals.

KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports that the New Mexico BioPark Society is selling works made by elephants holding paintbrushes in their trunks, snow leopards using their paws and other animals somehow making art. The proceeds will go toward buying zookeeper equipment.

Art collectors can check out the paintings at the Art Gone Wild online gallery. The prices range from $25 to nearly $600. Sample works include “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” ($190), an extravaganza in green by Huerfanita, a western lowland gorilla, and “Care Free” ($95) by Irene, an Asian elephant, who makes bold use of sky-blue. “Chorus” ($25), a few simple but profound daubs by Max the laughing kookaburra, is out of stock.

New Mexico BioPark Society development director Allyson Zahm says money raised from the art will be used to buy items that zookeepers can use to enrich the animals’ lives.

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Zahm says buyers can also pick a color and have Alice the elephant use it to paint for them. She says the zoo will even capture the painting on video.

The goal for this month was $3,000. The society reached the goal and hope to continue raising more.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo has been closed for weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.


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