SAN FRANCISCO — An auction for 32 colorful paintings produced by elephants, giraffes, river otters and even a cockroach at the Oakland Zoo was underway Thursday and ends Sept. 20.

Bids started at $200, for the works by a chimp and meerkats, an elephant and lemurs, according to eBay.

The painting sessions were conducted by zookeepers who used plenty of treats, as they worked with the animals, zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said.

Elephants were helped to hold paintbrushes in their trunks and giraffes in their mouths and produced their artwork one stroke at a time. Goats, lemurs and meerkats had their hooves, paws or claws dabbed with nontoxic paint and ran over a blank sheet of poster board.

Funds raised will benefit the zoo’s conservation partners.

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