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.

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