Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

L.A. Elephant Painted as "Art" Form

Posted: 25 September 2006

After being on display in a warehouse in downtown L.A., a fully-painted live elephant was washed down Sunday as ordered by the city’s Department of Animal Services.

Tai, a 38-year-old Indian elephant, had been painted all over her entire body and stood among a living room scene as part of an art exhibit entitled “Barely Legal” by British artist Banksy. The exhibit served to highlight the issue of poverty as the “elephant in the room."

Although the city’s Animal Services Department had granted permits for the exhibit, Ed Boks, the general manager, was infuriated at the fact that the permit was granted and stated that he would be reevaluating the permit process for the future in order to avoid “this kind of frivolous abuse of animals."

"This kind of exploitation of animals sends a severely detrimental message to the public.” stated Jennifer Blum of Animal Defenders International “It sends the message that animal abuse is acceptable as an art form."

After outcries by several animal rights organizations, on Sunday morning the paint was ordered to be removed and replaced with non-toxic children’s face paint. Since the artist could not find the correct paint, the elephant stood bare for the remainder of the exhibit as the elephant’s handlers and animal control officers monitored her welfare.
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