November 4, 2017 1:55 pm
Updated: November 4, 2017 1:58 pm

Art painted by Indian elephant hits auction block in Hungary

WATCH ABOVE: Elephant paints with trunk at Hungarian travelling circus


BUDAPEST – Paintings created by an Indian elephant who enjoys wielding a brush were auctioned off by a Hungarian travelling circus on Saturday.

Three of 42-year-old elephant Sandra’s abstract canvasses, with coloured lines flowing across them resembling rivers, fetched about 40,000 forints ($150) each.

A painting depicting Sandra herself, done by a Hungarian painter, sold for 260,000 forints. The money will be offered to an elephant sanctuary in Malaysia.

Sandra, a 42-year-old elephant, paints with her trunk in a Hungarian travelling circus of Florian Richter Circus in Budapest, Hungary November 2, 2017. Picture taken November 2, 2017.

REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Sandra paints with her trunk purely for pleasure, according to her owner and trainer Florian Richter, a horse acrobat and circus director.

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Sandra, who was already well practiced in a circus trick involving a shaving brush, was given a paintbrush and she quickly adapted her skills to the canvas.

Richter said that unlike many elephants in Thailand that are thought to be forced to paint, Sandra does it by herself when she is in the mood.

Sandra, a 42-year-old elephant who took up painting with her trunk a few months ago, walks alongside her owner, Florian Richter, in Budapest, Hungary November 1, 2017. Picture taken November 1, 2017.

REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

“I only help her with changing the brushes and putting them into paints but she does the rest by herself more or less. I praise her by saying ‘oh this is really good, or not so good’,” Richter said. “We have been together for 40 years so this is a family connection.”

Sandra arrived as a baby elephant at the circus where Richter grew up, as a seventh generation member of an acrobat family. ($1 = 267.5200 forints)

Sandra, a 42-year-old elephant, poses for a photo with Hungarian circus fans who bought her painting in the Florian Richter Circus in Budapest, Hungary November 4, 2017.

REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

© 2017 Reuters

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