Indian elephant creates own art

Elephant art on display in India, August 28,2014 The elephant dabbed paint with its foot and pressed it against the canvas

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Paintings by an Indian elephant have gone on sale at a gallery in the capital, Delhi, to help raise money to protect the endangered animals.

Artist Alpana Ahuja said she had used bananas and other food to lure Phoolkali to create the artworks.

The elephant, who was rescued from abusive owners, dabbed paint with its foot and pressed it against the canvas.

India is home to some 25,000 elephants. Their numbers are dwindling due to poaching and habitat destruction.

Ms Ahuja told the AFP news agency that she had to catch the elephant in a good mood, dab paint on its foot and press it against a canvas to create giant footprints in bright colours.

The money raised from their sale - the paintings are priced between $165 (£99) and $400 - will be used towards elephant conservation, said Babita Gupta, the art director of Delhi's ArtSpice gallery, said.

Elephant art on display in India, August 28,2014 The money raised from their sale will be used towards elephant conservation, s

The show coincides with the 10-day festival to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god Ganesh, which begins on Friday.

"The idea in our culture is that the elephant is glorified as Lord Ganesha... yet the animal that represents the lord is abused," Geeta Seshamani of Wildlife SOS, which collaborated with the art gallery in the exhibition, said.

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