The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced the winners of its
Chimpanzee Art Conteston Thursday.
Six sanctuaries across the U.S. submitted an original piece of art from one of their retired chimpanzees. All of these animals have a had a rough life, having once been used for medical research, forced into acting, or locked up in zoos and circuses. Painting is one activity that is used to cheer the chimps up once they are released into a safe haven.
The chimps seem to have an exceptional talent for this medium, each with their own aesthetic.
The first-place winner, a 37-year-old chimp named Brent, for example, used only his tongue to paint a purple, yellow, and blue masterpiece. There was also a second- and third-place winner. All six sanctuaries will get a $US500 grant from the HSUS just for participating.
Some of the sanctuaries apparently told the chimps that they won, Nicole Ianni, a representative for the humane society, tells us.
The paintings will be auctioned on eBay later this year to benefit the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.
Ripley, like many chimpanzees, was used as an actor before he was dumped in a roadside zoo. He eventually found his way to the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Fla. His caretakers are impressed with his resilience and forgiveness.
Cheetah, who was probably born in the 1970s, lived alone in a laboratory for 19 years. He was rescued by Save the Chimps in Ft. Pierce, Fla. in 2002.
Brent is 37 years old and has lived at Chimp Haven in Keithville, La. since 2006. He is protective of Grandma, Chimp Haven's oldest resident and loves to laugh and play, according to the Humane Society.
Brent is a chimpanzee who lives at Chimp Haven in Keithville, La. Brent is 37 years old and has lived at Chimp Haven since 2006. He is protective of Grandma, Chimp Haven's oldest resident. He loves to laugh and play. Brent paints only with his tongue. His unique approach and style, while a little unorthodox, results in beautiful pieces of art.
Brent took home first place and a $US10,000 grant for his artwork, which was made using only his tongue.
Jenny was born on May 19, 1995, at LEMSIP, a former biomedical research laboratory in New York. She was rescued by the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, Ky.
Jamie is a chimpanzee who lives at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Jamie is the boss of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. She has a very curious mind and loves activities, which include occasional art projects. She often prefers non-traditional surfaces for her work such as toys and walls. It is difficult to imagine how she survived the years of boredom and fear in biomedical research. Chimp Photos for Art Contest
Jamie lives at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.
Patti, born September 11, 1982, was raised by humans and made to perform for crowds of people before she retired in June 1996. She now lives at Chimps, Inc. in Bend, Ore.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.