Paintings by penguin, sea lions up for auction

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - September 16, 2008

Paintings featuring the brush strokes and paw prints of animals such as snow leopards and sea lions from zoos around the nation will be sold Tuesday.

The sale is part of an online auction at to raise money for zoo conservation efforts.

It is sponsored by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Association spokesman Steve Feldman says zoo keepers have long used painting as a way to mentally stimulate animals. Animal artwork also has been sold for some time and for surprising amounts of money, but Feldman says Tuesday marks the first collaborative effort by zoos.

Bidding is to begin at 5 p.m. with a painting by a penguin from Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo.

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