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Aquarium sells paintings done by 2 otters

Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:29 PM

DULUTH, Minn., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Paintings made by two artistic otters have been selling for about $35 each in a Minnesota aquarium's gift shop, said Cathie Dickey, who works there.

Dickey, an employee at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, said paintings created by otters Zhoosh and Anang have been selling "wonderfully" since otter keeper Tara Lieberg introduced the animals to paint about a year ago, the Duluth News Tribune reported Monday.

"There was a guy who came to the counter last week and said it was one of the best things he'd seen. It was something so different. He felt like he was bringing home part of the otters," Dickey said.

Lieberg said the otters were initially wary of the blobs of paint on printer paper she gave them, but they soon became expert painters when she switched them to card stock and children's paint.

"I've also tried canvases," she said. "They aren't a fan of canvases."

She said each painting takes about 15 minutes to complete and she then decides which works are worthy of framing and selling in the gift shop.

"I like how they look like they're watercolor paintings," Lieberg said.

Dickey said she can sell 10 to 20 of the paintings during weekends in the summer.

"You can't go to a museum and buy something like that," she said.

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