Published: 14 August 2013
A new craze is set to sweep South Devon this summer - gorilla tracking.
The free trail of 30 painted, life-size model gorillas links Brixham, Paignton, Torquay, Cockington, Babbacombe, St. Marychurch and Exeter.
Paignton Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “It’s a brilliant free 30-mile public art trail around the streets, parks and open spaces of the English Riviera and Exeter, with a few surprises along the way. It’s a celebration of Paignton Zoo’s 90th birthday, a thank you to the community and a chance to raise awareness for gorilla conservation.”
As well as the 30 life-size gorillas, nearly two dozen smaller sculptures designed and painted by schools in Devon and Somerset can be found in museums, libraries and shops.
“There’s a free trail map that you can pick up or download, plus a mobile version of the Great Gorillas web site.”
Gorilla trackers can also win the chance to meet Paignton Zoo’s real live gorillas. If you register your details using a mobile device at greatgorillastrail.org.uk, then every time you scan the QR code of a model gorilla it will be automatically recorded. At the end of the trail - 13th October - everyone who has spotted 28 gorillas will be entered into a draw. The lucky winner will get a behind the scenes experience to meet the gorillas. Two gorillas - GiGi and Hearts - are not included because of the limited mobile reception at Cockington and Greenway.
In addition, Babbacombe Model Village has the Great Miniature Trail. Each of the full-size Great Gorillas has been recreated in miniature to form a trail around the Model Village, which is 50 years old this year.
The life-size model gorillas have been sponsored by businesses and community groups, painted in original designs by specially-commissioned artists and displayed in public, creating a unique art trail around Exeter and the English Riviera. For further information go to: www.greatgorillas.org.uk.
Excellent value for money. A fantastic day out for the whole family!
Volunteers were very friendly and keen to share information about the animals.
The zoo is really well kept and the information along the way is great