Paintings by penguin, sea lions up for auction

September 16, 2008 4:19:28 AM PDT
This art is created not by hands, but by paws and claws.

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.