7 Incredible Artists of the Animal Kingdom

Not long ago, scientists considered the capacity to create art one of the major differences that separates man from animals. But that was only because no animal ever had the chance to use a paintbrush. The animal kingdom has plenty of artistsĀ  more than capable of handling a paintbrush, and these seven examples are undeniable proof:

The Painting Elephants of Thailand

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Everyone knows elephants are extraordinary creatures, but few of us ever imagined they’re capable of creating genuine works of art. According to the caretakers at the National Elephant Institute, in Thailand, Thai elephants are natural born artists that will often pick up a stick, and start noodling in the sand. Trained properly these pachyderms can create original artworks that rival those done by some humans. Thanks to their incredibly mobile trunk (powered by 40,000 muscles) elephants can paint better than any other animals.

Xiaoqiang the Beluga

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Xiaoqiang, a talented Beluga whale, at the Qingdao Aquarium, in China, learned to paint under the guidance of his instructor, and is now one of the aquarium’s top attractions. Incredibly enough, Xiaoqiang’s paintings aren’t abstract, they usually make sense, if you look close enough.

Sammy the Painting Dog

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After his owner attached a paintbrush to his favorite rubber bone, Sammy took up painting, and never looked back. Inspired by his lush surroundings, in Eastern Shore, Maryland, Sammy creates the most amazing abstract paintings, using a variety of colors. You may think this puppy’s art is a joke, but his paintings have been showcased in various New York art galleries, and some have sold for up to $1,700. Now that’s no joke.

Lea the Sea Lion

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When Jen DeGroot, marine mammologist, at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, decided to teach Lea, the sea lion, to make flipper art, she had no idea it would eventually turn into a regular phenomenon. But when people heard there was a sea lion creating artistic imprints with her flippers, everyone wanted their very own custom artwork. The aquarium saw the potential of their slippery artist and decided to charge for her art, as a way of raising money for the animals. Since then Lea and her sea lion friend Max have taken it to another level and are now masters of the paintbrush, as well.

Mishindi the Black Rhino

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This talented black rhino is one of the main attractions at the Denver Zoo. Apart from being one of the gentlest most lovable animals there, Mishindi also likes to spend his spare time, painting. All he needs is a big paintbrush and someone to hold the canvas, and he just unleashes his artistic talent. In a fund-raising event, last year, Mishindi’s paintings have sold for $220, each.

Cholla the Painting Horse

Photo courtesy of Renee Chambers

A mustang-quarter horse, Cholla is so talented a painter that he was invited to attend an art exhibition, in Montigliano Venetto, Italy, alongside 1,770 other human artists. The organizers said they were shocked when they heard the author of the selected artworks was actually a horse, but they admired his talent even more. Cholla’s career began when his owner, Renee Chambers, bought some water colors, mixed them up, glued a piece of paper to the fence, and handed him e large paintbrush. He grabbed it without hesitation, and never stopped painting, since. Now his paintings sell for over $2,000.

Towan the Orangutan

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Towan, a 41-year-old orangutan, from Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, was a big internet hit, back in 2008, when some of his original paintings were auctioned off, on eBay. Two of his artworks sold for close to $1,000, with the proceedings going towards organizing a zookeepers conference. All orangutans like to paint, but unlike all his other furry friends, Towan does it with a brush, instead of his tongue. He’s also much easier to deal with after he’s done painting, as he slides his tools, under his doorway, while other orangutans will desperately hold on to them.

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