The business heavyweights at Francis Clark were joined by another type of heavyweight when a life sized model gorilla turned up at the firm’s Torquay offices.

The startling sight of managing partner Les Burnett and Head of Tax Steve Collins with the unique piece of three-dimensional public art can be explained by Francis Clark becoming Gold Sponsors of Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorilla Project.

The project is celebrating the 90th birthday of the region’s largest and best-known zoo, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, which is a registered charity. It is also raising funds for gorilla conservation and a local community project.

Colin Knight, Francis Clark business development director said: “Paignton Zoo is an institution in Torbay and is hugely valued for its role as a major tourist attraction and for its work in conservation.

“Supporting this initiative is really worthwhile and great fun and our gorilla, Francis, will be putting in an appearance at Francis Clark offices throughout the South West and will be helping to raise even more funds.”

The sculptures will be set up for 10 weeks next summer in streets, parks and open spaces, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the area, while highlighting both the conservation threat facing wild gorillas and how the local business community can make a difference.

They will then be auctioned for charity in November. The full-size models are 120cms long, 140cms high and 60cms wide and weigh around 30 kilos without their concrete plinth. They are made of fibre-glass with steel reinforcement. There are smaller models 38cm tall and 76cm long.

Quotes One of the best Zoos in the country Quotes