Kentucky artist paints elephant mural at Phoenix Zoo

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A Kentucky artist paints an incredible elephant mural at the Phoenix Zoo.

Something new at the Phoenix Zoo is drawing a lot of attention.

Zoogoers who love elephants are marveling at the colorful mural painted outside of the new elephant exhibit set to open in October.

"We were working on our new elephant exhibit and getting all the new displays and the new interpretive content and signage ready," Matt Strangeways said. "We were trying to figure out what we wanted to do with this part of the exhibit."

Strangeways is an interpretive content manager for the Phoenix Zoo and says timing is everything.

"Sure enough, we had just gotten an email from a muralist in Kentucky offering his services for free," Strangeways said.

Kacy Jackson is a self-proclaimed natural artist since birth and an animal lover. He spent three days painting the mural.

"I'm really driven by passion and dedication, it doesn't really matter to me," she said. "I don't think about how hot it is, I just knew I was supposed to stay hydrated, so as long as I stayed hydrated, I thought 'you know what, I'll be alright.'"

Jackson's hope is to get his name out as an artist but also to spread a message of conservation -- the importance of helping save elephants, like the three Asian elephants that have called the Phoenix Zoo home for decades.

In a few short weeks since the mural was complete, it has added not only color, but new enthusiasm for visiting the Asian elephants.