Unforgettable artwork: Painting by Asian elephant that uses brush gripped in its trunk goes up for sale on eBay
Asian elephant Karishma grips a tiny brush with its trunk to create colourful artworks at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire
One of the 14-year-old female's paintings is being auctioned on eBay for conservation charities
By Kerry Mcdermott
A zoo has appointed an unusual artist-in-residence - a five tonne Asian elephant.
Karishma uses a tiny paintbrush gripped in its trunk to create colourful canvases at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire.
Now one of the 14-year-old female's artworks is going up for sale on eBay to raise money for conservation projects.
Dextrous: Arty Asian elephant Karishma uses a paintbrush held in its trunk to create colourful pictures at Whipsnade Zoo
Trunk art: Karishma's artwork is going to be sold on eBay to raise money for conservation charities
Staff at Whipsnade say Karishma's artworks are 'pretty amazing, if a little abstract', and fans obviously agree as bidding has already reached £100 on the auction site.
'Karishma really enjoys painting and she's very talented at it,' keeper Elizabeth Becker told the BBC.
'It demonstrates just how dextrous elephants' trunks really are.'
Colleague Rebecca Smith said the mighty elephant had been artist-in-residence at Whipsnade ever since keepers gave Karishma a paintbrush and watched as 'she immediately took to it'.
While staff admire Karishma's use of 'sweeping strokes' and trademark spots and stripes, Ms Smith added: 'Perhaps the beauty is in the eye of the beholder'.
Karishma's calf George has not inherited its mother's love of art, preferring to spend time playing rather than painting.
Elephant in the room: Staff at Whipsnade say the 14-year-old creature's creations are 'amazing, if a little abstract'
Star: Karishma leaves other elephants at Whipsnade in the shade as it shows off its artistic flair
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