A jumbo Valentine’s


Perth Zoo's elephant Permai during a painting session with elephant keeper Kirsty Carey. Picture: Marie Nirme           d449010
Perth Zoo's elephant Permai during a painting session with elephant keeper Kirsty Carey. Picture: Marie Nirme         d449010

The pair of Asian elephants, Permai and Tricia, share a common love for painting and enjoy letting their creativity flow, but no two finished paintings are ever the same.

“Permai’s very boisterous and loves to be involved with everything whereas Tricia is very chilled out, so quite often it shows in their artwork,” Ms Carey said.

“The two different personalities really shine through.”

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the elephants have been creating themed artworks to help Perth residents make the day extra special for loved ones.

Perth Zoo spokeswoman Danielle Henry said painting formed a vital part of the behavioural enrichment program for the elephants.

“This year we are romanticising it by adding a Valentine’s touch,” she said.

“Tricia, Permai and our bull elephant Putra-Mas will have their trunks dipped in elephant friendly paint and kiss the canvasses to create a very unique heart shaped piece of elephant art.”

One hundred per cent of profits from the art are donated to help animals in the wild, including the critically endangered Sumatran elephants.