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Elephant Artists

Asian Elephants Learn to Paint

The problem: In Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia, elephants are in trouble, their numbers falling. 

  • The beautiful Asian elephants once helped loggers clear forests.
  • But now there aren't many forests left, so the elephants are without jobs.
  • Many were just left to wander the streets, begging for food.

One solution: So a group called the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project got busy.

  1. They took the elephants in, gave them shelter, food, and care.
  2. And they taught the elephants how to paint. Seriously!
  3. The elephants are smart and learn quickly and seem to enjoy it.
  4. For instance, some elephants seem to be painting their own portraits.
  5. But they've just been taught how to make the lines go a certain way--so it looks like a painting of an elephant!
  6. The people sell the elephant paintings, which helps pay for the food and care these once-homeless elephants need.
  7. It's what you call a win-win. Check out a video of one of these artists at work by clicking on the link below!

     8. To see other paintings by Asian elephants and find out more about the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project,  click on this Web site http://www.elephantart.com/catalog/default.php

     9. To learn more about the Asian elephants at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., click on this link.

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