Padfoot the painting ocelot

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Our very own Padfoot will have his artwork featured in an upcoming auction by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Padfoot is a 7-year-old ocelot born right here at the Phoenix Zoo.

His painting career began in 2004 when keepers thought it would be fun to engage him in some behavioral enrichment - providing him with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural and healthy behavior.

They brought out a blank canvass and began painting blotches for Padfoot's inspiration. He was quickly intrigued and began using his head, neck and the larger part of his body to achieve his desired masterpiece - a rare notion considering most cats who paint use their paws.

The most unique element Padfoot adds to complete each piece is to sign his famous autograph with a signature spray of urine.

His latest work "Safari Night" will be auctioned off via Internet for the Art by Animals auction Sat. March 28, 2009, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Conservation Endowment Fund. For more information or to bid on Padfoot's painting, visit .

The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Rain or shine, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Day (Dec. 25). Regular-season hours (Sept. 1-May 31) are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Summer hours (June 1-Aug. 31) are 7 a.m.-1 p.m. during the week and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on the weekends Admission is $14 for adults, $6 for children and $9 for seniors. For more information, call 602-273-1341 or visit .