Photo Credit: TravelBlog
You might remember Lucky the elephant, an artist unlike any other. She was found orphaned, wandering alone in Cambodia back in 1999 after her mother was believed to have been poached by hunters. She was brought to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center near Phnom Penh and began painting just a few years later, immediately demonstrating remarkable artistic talent.
Painting seems to make Lucky especially happy – once she starts, she doesn’t want to stop. And, she always has a smile on her face as she does it. When finished with one color, she immediately grabs another brush and begins painting again with a different color, often creating circular patterns combined with striking beats of the brush on the canvas.
In 2011, one of the videos that made her famous, showed Lucky painting on raw fabric.
Today, Lucky is considered a symbol of conservation movement at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. Wildlife director Nick Marx told Today, “Everybody loves Lucky.”
Unfortunately, this beautiful elephant contracted a rare, and usually fatal virus earlier this year. For weeks, according to Today, Marx and his team battled to keep her alive, fearing the worst. He believed the beloved and magnificent animal was going to die.
The $40,000 for her treatment quickly drained the resources of the center – and Marx’s savings. But desperate to help her, he decided to make use of Lucky’s incredible artistic talents. Money was raised for her care by auctioning two of her paintings, composed before she’d become sick. The sales raised enough money to help facilitate her treatment, and she’s now seeing the first signs of recovery.
Marx says she’s flapping her ears, playing in the dirt, and eating again. She even started painting for the first time since she became sick. Now, he says, there is reason for hope.