A Louisiana chimpanzee has won an online chimp art contest organized by the Humane Society of the United States for a painting he did using his tongue. Brent, a 37-year-old retired laboratory animal, won $10,000 for the Chimp Haven sanctuary in northwest Louisiana for a painting he finished without the use of a brush.
A Chimp Haven spokeswoman said Brent was unavailable for comment.
"I think he's asleep," Ashley Gordon said.
Five other sanctuaries competed in the contest.
Chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall actually preferred another painting by Cheetah, a male at Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Fla. Cheetah won $5,000 for his sanctuary for being Goodall's choice. His painting also came in second in online voting, which netted Save the Chimps an additional $5,000.
“All of the art was beautiful and unique, just like chimpanzees, it was difficult to choose,” Goodall said. “It’s so important that the public support all of these sanctuaries in their mission to provide exceptional care to chimpanzees, and other primates, who have suffered through so much.”
Ripley from the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Fla., won third place and won $2,500, The Charlotte Observer reported.
The Humane Society has a miniature profile of Brent on its website:
Brent is 37 years old and has lived at Chimp Haven since 2006. He is protective of Grandma, Chimp Haven's oldest resident. He loves to laugh and play. Brent paints only with his tongue. His unique approach and style, while a little unorthodox, results in beautiful pieces of art.