Zoo Puts Elephant to Work Painting to Raise Money

Sales of elephant artwork, dung raise funds for zoo

By Sam Schulz
|  Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012  |  Updated 8:48 AM CDT
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Indian elephant Shanti has been put to work at the Prague Zoo painting artwork whose sale will raise money to buy another zoo an ultrasound device.

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An elephant in the Prague Zoo is earning her keep — by painting.

An art gallery in the Czech capital hosted an unlikely art opening in this month when it unveiled an exhibition of paintings by India-born elephant Shanti, the Czech News Agency reported.

In its effort to raise raise funds for an elephant zoo in Sri Lanka, Prague zookeepers put Shanti to work painting canvases whose sale they hope will buy the Sri Lankan zoo an ultrasound device.

This isn't the first time the Prague Zoo has hatched unusual plans for making money off its elephants.

Last year, the zoo began selling elephant droppings as souvenirs that could also double as fertilizer for visitors' gardens.

Zoo director Miroslav Bobek told reporters at the time that he was inspired to launch the project by his own last name, which means dung.

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