The Great Gorillas Project reaches its climax on 6th November, when a troop of large gorilla sculptures will be sold for charity.

The project, celebrating Paignton Zoo’s 90th birthday, is raising funds for gorilla conservation and for Children’s Hospice South West.

Life-size model gorillas, sponsored by businesses and community groups, painted in original designs by specially-commissioned artists and displayed in public, created a unique art trail around Exeter and the English Riviera during the summer.

Now, 27 of the artworks are going up for sale at a prestigious charity auction night.

Pippa Craddock, Paignton Zoo’s Director of Marketing & Development, said: “This is where it gets serious. The free art trail was very successful and great fun, but now we are at the business end of the project.

“Art collectors, animal lovers and shrewd business people will all take an interest. We are talking about unique works of art painted on unique three-dimensional canvases. They are one-offs – there is nothing else in the world quite like these gorillas.

“We have no idea how much they will go for – we hope to raise as much money as possible for charity. Auctions are unpredictable, so it is very exciting!”

One gorilla – Five Minutes to Midnight – will be sold in aid of Children’s Hospice South West.

The Zoo, a registered charity, is holding the auction on Wednesday 6th November at the Palace Theatre, Paignton, starting at 6.30pm. Most of the large sculptures will be up for auction. The ticket-only event will be led by auctioneer Robin Barlow. To register your interest in the auction, go to or telephone 01803 697509.

Quotes So much to see, beautifully laid out and loads of interesting information on all the animals. Quotes