Salvador Dali once said, “The hand of the chimpanzee is quasi-human; the hand of Jackson Pollock is totally animal.”  Whether done for fundraising purposes, research, or for entertainment, zoos throughout the world have long placed human art supplies and tools in the hands, trunks and paws of their wards; the resulting works resemble modern art to some, childish scribbling to many, and fine art to others.  There is evidence that monkeys were painting in the 17th century, although the art wasn’t given much attention until the emergence of the modern art movement.  Elephants are particularly suited to it: picking up sticks is a natural behavior.  Dolly, an Asian Elephant and a resident of the Denver zoo, regularly creates splashy canvases that are auctioned off for as much as $1400.  The Grant Museum of Zoology in London is currently exhibiting a collection of artwork done by animals.

For more information, please visit BBC News, the Telegraph, or the Denver Zoo.