The animals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden are expressing themselves, and not just with a typical lion's roar or trumpeting elephant's trunk.
A slew of artistic animals have created a series of paw-painted masterpieces — with the help of their keepers — and they're all up for auction.
The zoo's Animal Art Auction offers original paintings made by everyone from Fiona the hippo and Kris and Remus, the cheetah-dog duo, to Jomo the gorilla and Mai Thai the elephant.
Bidding for the one-of-a-kind creations is open through noon July 11, with proceeds going toward the care and feeding of all the animal residents of the Cincinnati Zoo.
“Painting is an enrichment activity that some animals enjoy," says Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard in a release. "It’s always voluntary and the paint that we use is non-toxic, so it’s safe for them. Mai Thai the elephant has been painting for years, and she’s pretty good!”
Pieces from Fiona's "yellow, blue, and red periods" are on the auction block, including one of the first paintings she made during her first painting session in 2017, when she was 4 months old. Fiona paints with her feet and has created a couple of signature "kiss" prints with her snout.
Kris and Remus painted their canvas with their paws, as did John the lion. Mai Thai used her trunk to create her masterpiece. Sal the tamandua used his tail. And in Jomo the gorilla's painting, you can even see his knuckle prints. Penguins, painted dogs, tortoises, okapis and hornbills also got in on the art.
View all artworks at cincinnatizoo.org and learn how to place your bid.