One local family has tracked down the full set of Great Gorillas – entirely by bus.

Lucy Sambell, from Exeter, her 13-year-old son Zachary and their two chocolate Labradors, father and son Murphy and Dooley, took two days to complete the free public art marathon.

The Great Gorillas Project is celebrating the 90th birthday of Paignton Zoo with 30 life-size model gorillas, sponsored by businesses and painted in original designs by specially-commissioned artists, placed around the streets and public spaces of Exeter and the English Riviera.

Lucy is a big fan of the project: “Thank you so much to everyone who has worked so hard on this project, from the artists to the people who have moved the gorillas, the sponsors, the locations where they’ve been placed, everyone who must have worked so hard behind the scenes – thank you all!”

She, Zachary and the two dogs spent what she described as “a phenomenal day” on the buses looking for gorillas around the English Riviera. “It was a very special day, taking in some beautiful sights, such as Hope on Babbacombe Downs, and even finding Lilo the moving gorilla, too!”

The family travelled all the way by Stagecoach buses. “We left Exeter at 8.30am and didn’t get home until 9.30pm, but what a truly great day. We went from Exeter to Brixham, Paignton to Torquay, back to Paignton because we didn't know Lilo was there ‘til afterwards, back to Torquay for the Babbacombe gorillas and then back to Paignton.

“We took 14 or 15 different buses, both of us and the dogs for just £9.90 – it was a bargain! And so many drivers were so helpful with directions and helping us out.”

They saw all of the English Riviera gorillas on one day and tracked down the Exeter gorillas on another day. Paignton Zoo Director of Marketing & Development Pippa Craddock said: “We wanted to make the Great Gorillas Trail accessible to everyone and Stagecoach helped us to achieve that. Well done to Lucy, Zach, Murphy and Dooley!”

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