As gorilla-finding fever sweeps the island, organisers of Durrell's 'Go Wild' trail are urging islanders not to sit on the sculptures to avoid damaging their special artwork, after two had to be rehomed.
The trail launched a couple of weeks ago, with 40 life-size gorillas being placed around the island, and the team at Durrell say the response so far has been "incredible" with 70,000 'unlocks' of the gorillas on the app so far.
But they are urging some islanders to take more care, as despite the clear signage, some of the gorillas have been damaged as a result of people posing for photos while sitting on the back of the sculptures.
They say that some people have also been causing traffic problems while visiting the gorillas, such as by parking on yellow lines, or putting themselves at risk by standing in the road to take photos. For example, Groovy Gorilla at Castle Green has proven very popular, which has led to bad parking nearby and the threat of fines.
Pictured: the finished gorillas, waiting to meet the public.
The team behind the art trail - which Express is supporting as media partner - has had to move two gorillas this week to alleviate some of the problems. They say that Long John Silverback has a new home at Jersey Harbour, and Jambo Sana has taken prime position with a sea view at Greve de Lecq Beach following reports that too many cars were accessing the Barracks, where the National Trust is currently carrying out building work.
Durrell’s Fundraising Manager, Beth Gallichan commented: “We want people to take time to enjoy the gorilla sculptures and the nature in which they are placed, encouraging families and visitors to get outside and discover Jersey. Ideally, we hope that people will walk, cycle or use the bus and consider the important environmental message.
"Those who join the trail are invited to take part in a nature connection survey which aims to make people aware of the environment around them and how it makes them feel. You can take part in the survey through the app on the Go Wild Gorillas website. It’s not only fun, it is a way to contribute to Durrell’s mission to create a wilder, healthier more colourful world for future generations to enjoy.”
Pictured: as well as the life-size gorillas, there are also a group of smaller ones.
The project celebrates the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s 60th anniversary, whilst raising funds for a new indoor home for Jersey Zoo’s gorilla family and contributing to the charity’s aim to connect 1million people to nature by 2025.
The Jersey Girl Guides have been tasked as 'Gorilla Guardians' to clean and take care of the sculptures alongside the team at the Parish of St. Helier.
If anyone finds a damaged gorilla, they are asked to send a text of the gorilla's name, and a brief description, to 07797 922776.
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