Painting Chimp Draws Hordes to Rio Zoo

Jimmy, a 26-year-old chimpanzee paints a cardboard at a zoo in Niteroi, Brazil, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010.
AP Photo/Felipe Dana
A retired circus chimpanzee is the Cezanne of simians, drawing crowds to a Brazilian zoo to watch him paint.

The 26-year-old chimp called Jimmy has been producing surprisingly lovely paintings each day for three weeks at the Niteroi Zoo.

Trainer Roched Seba said Monday Jimmy doesn't like the toys and other diversions that other chimps enjoy. So three weeks ago, Seba introduced him to painting after reading about animals in zoos elsewhere that enjoyed a little canvas time.

Pictures: Painting Animals

Temperamental as great artists can be, Jimmy at times declines to paint if his cage is surrounded by too many gawkers.

But for at least 30 minutes a day, he carefully dips his brush into plastic paint containers and uses broad, bold strokes to create his art.

An exhibition for Jimmy the chimp is already in the works.