Woodland Park Zoo's Lupe puckers up for hippo kiss 'paintings'

SEATTLE - If you've ever wanted "a hippopotamus for Christmas" like the old holiday song, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is offering the next best thing: hippo kisses!

The zoo's 17-year-old hippo Guadalupe, or 'Lupe' for short, puckered up for her best Picasso impression on Wednesday.



Zoo keepers covered Lupe's mouth with non-toxic paint while she posed. They then carefully pressed sheets of paper to her lips to create hippopotamus kiss paintings.

The life of an artist is tough work, so Lupe was given a few treats in between paintings. 

The zoo said Lupe and her keepers have regular painting sessions. They said activities like these keep the animals physically and mentally stimulated.

The paintings will be for sale at a silent auction at the zoo on Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. held by the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Proceeds benefit animal conservation efforts.

You can see Lupe and the other hippos in the zoo's African Savanna exhibit.