As long as humans have complex minds and opposable thumbs, chances are high that we’ll lord over the planet for a while yet. Even so, animals have proven time and time again just how much talent they’re packing — and threaten to prove that they don’t need thumbs to be amazing. Case in point: the Oakland Zoo turned its animals into artists, and reaped the rewards.
Zookeepers worked alongside twenty different animal breeds to put together some fresh paintings. Among those breeds are lemurs, giraffes, goats, meerkats, elephants, and even cockroaches; any animals that wanted to take part could, while those that shied away were excused. Thankfully, the zookeepers had the foresight to have the art made with non-toxic paint, and the animals were compensated for their work with treats.
The real benefit comes from the sale of the paintings. An auction will allow the Oakland Zoo to give the money raised to conservation partners, who in turn will help protect other wildlife. One can’t help but wonder if the animals appreciate the niceties of fine art, but their work is definitely going toward a good cause.