Toledo Zoo Elephant Hired for Just Peanuts to Paint a Piano
By Cynthia Condit
Toledo, OH - Toledo, Ohio-Jazz pianist Art Tatum was surely one of the greatest artists the city of Toledo ever produced. On Tuesday, October 13 (the 100th anniversary of Tatum's birth) at 1:30 p.m., The Toledo Zoo's biggest artist, Renee the elephant, will paint a piano to benefit the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Foundation. It just might make her as beloved an artist as the jazz legend the Zoo will be honoring!
The piano, which features plastic keys instead of ivory, will be on display in the Great Hall of the Zoo's Museum of Science during The Lights Before Christmas, where visitors will be encouraged to demonstrate their musical skills. The piano will be auctioned later this year, and the proceeds will benefit the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Foundation. Formerly known as the Toledo Jazz Society, this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to preserving and increasing appreciation for America's unique musical form-jazz.
This pachyderm piano painting is not only fun to watch, but it also provides a valuable enrichment opportunity for Renee. Activities such as painting give Renee the opportunity to participate in actions that stimulate her senses and help her interact with her environment. It's part of the overall program of excellent care that The Toledo Zoo offers to its elephants each day.
The Toledo Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. after Labor Day) and is located on the Anthony Wayne Trail (US 25), four miles south of downtown Toledo. For more information, please visit www.toledozoo.org or call (419) 385-4040. Lucas County residents are admitted free of charge each Monday from 10 a.m. to noon. ID showing proof of residency is required.
To view Toledo Zoo's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to: http://www.zandavisitor.com/forumtopicdetail-50-Toledo_Zoo
Your readers may be interested to learn that this photograph was made in June of 1988. Well before establishment of either the Recovery Team (late 1988) or the Marmot Foundation (1998) or the modern captive breeding program (1998). This particular female lived for at least ten years since I first tagged her.
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