An Indian elephant’s painting was recently auctioned off at a Hungarian auction. Three of Sandra’s abstract canvasses fetched about USD 150 each at the auction on Saturday. The painting depicts Sandra herself, done by a Hungarian painter was auctioned off for USD 971. The money earned through the paintings will be offered to an elephant sanctuary in Malaysia. According to Sandra’s owner Florian Richter, the animal paints with her trunk for pleasure. Richter is also a trainer, horse acrobat, and circus director.
As per reports, Sandra is well versed with circus trick involving shaving brush and quickly understood how to use a paintbrush it on canvas. Ritcher also said that unlike many elephants which are forced to paint in Thailand, Sandra enjoys using the paintbrush and tries it on canvas when she is in the mood. Ritcher was quoted as saying, “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’. We have been together for 40 years, so this is a family connection.”
Sandra came to the circus as a baby elephant at the circus where Richter also grew up. She is the seventh generation member of an acrobat family. While paintings by elephants are widely liked and sold, many call it cruelty as the animal is taught to use the paintbrush by strict tamers. Thailand is among countries which are widely accused of harassing elephants for monetary gains with it being a wide scale business there.