Art is art, and dung is dung. And while everyone may not agree on what art is, most people know dung when they see it. Along the way, dung as a medium has fascinated artists, sometimes in very controversial ways. Now, just in time for the holiday season, the Topeka Zoo is reinventing the art of dung. Zoo employees are hard at work collecting “perfect” specimens of elephant dung, all in the name of art. These specimens are dried to perfection, and once they become odorless, each elephant dung unit is painted and decorated. The resulting pieces of feces are said to have unique personalities, all of which will go on sale to the public. While some are singing the praises of this unusual art, others may think it’s – crappy?
Experts note that elephant dung in its dried form isn’t quite so obnoxious as the average person might think. Due to the elephant’s healthy diet of plants, grasses and fruit, the dried dung is mostly grass. In Africa, elephant dung is a major factor in reforestation due to the seeds scattered about in the waste. Who knew? In general dung from various animals, including bison and cows, has been used throughout history, around the world, for fuel, fertilizer and even in building materials. And now, for all who are stumped over what to buy for the art lover who has everything, there is an answer.
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