Syd Jefferies has won a big chocolate gorilla - after buying a raffle ticket at the very last minute.

He is now the proud owner of Chico, a 30 inch high model primate smothered in the finest Belgian chocolate. Chico was raffled in aid of Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorillas Project.

Mr Jefferies, of Torquay, visited Paignton Zoo to see the Good Bye Gorillas event on Sunday 20th, and bought a raffle ticket the day before the draw closed on Monday 21st.

Tickets had been on sale since July. In total the raffle raised £1,522 for the Great Gorillas Project.

He has decided to donate most of the chocolate to the Zoo’s Great Gorilla partner charity, Children’s Hospice South West. Naomi Dymond, from the hospice, said: “This is such lovely news! It really is so generous of Mr Jefferies to think of us.”

Mr Jefferies said he was very surprised to have won. “I still can’t believe it – but it’s a lovely feeling!” Once the children at the hospice have finished the chocolate, Mr Jefferies will get the fibre glass primate back. What will he do with it then? “Give it to my son or grandson to paint!”

Simon Storey, from the Cockington Chocolate Company, said: “We are extremely proud to be associated with Paignton Zoo and to have created the world's only chocolate gorilla. For the chocolate to be donated to Children's Hospice South West is a brilliant idea. Supporting Paignton Zoo allows us to help their excellent conservation programmes.”

Cheeky chocolate Chico is 78cm tall and 76cm long; it took more than 10 kilos of chocolate to cover him. He was made by The Cockington Chocolate Company in support of The Great Gorillas Project, celebrating Paignton Zoo’s 90th birthday.

The Cockington Chocolate Company is based in the Sea Change craft centre behind Cockington Court, where they also run the successful Tea Rooms.

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