Andy Warhol Move Over -- Zoo's Animals Make Their Artistic Debut

Mon, 12/20/2010

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - December 20, 2010 - Andy Warhol has nothing on the animals at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo! Animal Care staff began training several animals to paint as part of its Animal Enrichment program in the summer of 2010. The result is a collection of the "Animal Art" now on sale at the Zoo, which makes for a unique gift this holiday season.

"We have found that painting not only provides mental and physical stimulation for the animals but also creates positive interactions between the staff and the animals," explained Gregg Dancho, Zoo director.

The furry Picassos include the Zoo's Andean Bear, Golden-lion Tamarin, Guinea Hogs, and the Maned Wolf. Like other "artists," the animals have different styles and are not on any schedule to produce artwork. Each painting is an original, numbered canvas print with a photo of the painter on the reverse side along with information about the animal and the date painted.

This holiday season Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo's AAZK (American Association of Zoo Keepers) Chapter invites the public to view and purchase the "Animal Art." Please note that the Zoo is unable to take specific animal painting requests and not all Zoo animals paint. All proceeds from the sale of the paintings will go to the Zoo's Animal Enrichment Fund, which provides items and activities that stimulate the animals' mental and physical well-being.

Painting sizes range from 4" x 4" to 16" x 20" and are priced from $5 to $40. The Animal Art is on display in the Zoo's Carousel building during regular Zoo Carousel hours.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. On Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, the Zoo will close at 1:00 pm and the gate will close at 12 Noon. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $11.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $9.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members also are admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565 or visit

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About Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is Connecticut's only zoo and features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won't want to miss our new Bald Eagle exhibit, Andean condor, Amur (Siberian) tigers, ocelots, red & maned wolves, Andean (spectacled) bear, llamas, and golden lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit