Brent The Chimpanzee Wins $10,000 Art Prize

A retired laboratory research animal who paints with his tongue has won a $10,000 (£6,450) prize in a chimpanzee art competition.

Brent, 37, claimed first place in an online ballot voted for by more than 27,000 people, when the results of the Humane Society of the United States’s Chimpanzee Art Contest were announced this week.

The talented chimp created a delicate, simple piece featuring daubs of violet, blue and yellow on paper.

Brent has won a $10,000 (£6,450) prize

The entries were judged by world-renowned primate researcher and conservationist, Jane Goodall.

The prize in the contest will go towards Chimp Haven – Brent's sanctuary in the US state of Louisiana.

Brent's artistic masterpiece

A spokeswoman said Brent was unavailable to comment on his triumph. “I think he's asleep,” Ashley Gordon said.

The Humane Society said Brent “loves to laugh and play” and is protective of an older chimp called Grandma at the sanctuary.

“Brent paints only with his tongue. His unique approach and style, while a little unorthodox, results in beautiful pieces of art," the group added.

Second-place winner Cheetah was award a total of $10,000, including a $5,000 judge's prize awarded by Mrs Goodall.

Ripley, who came in at third place, took $2,500 for the Center for Great Apes.

"All of the art was beautiful and unique, just like chimpanzees," Jane Goodall said, in a statement distributed by the Humane Society.

"It was difficult to choose. It's so important that the public support all of these sanctuaries in their mission to provide exceptional care to chimpanzees, and other primates, who have suffered through so much."

Other artists won $500 grants for their sanctuaries for their participation.