The team at Durrell is delighted with the success of the Go Wild Gorillas art trail in its first few weeks. The public’s reaction has been incredible, with over 70,000 ‘unlocks’ of the sculptures on the Go Wild Gorillas app so far. Whilst the organisers are thrilled to see residents and visitors enjoying the trail, they are now appealing to gorilla-spotters to take care when visiting the beautiful sculptures across the island.
Despite clear signage on the plinths, people have not been able to resist the temptation to climb on the gorillas and there have been increasing reports of damage to the artwork and signage. Concerns have also been raised that people are causing traffic problems whilst visiting the gorillas, parking on yellow lines or putting themselves at risk by taking photos in the road.
To alleviate any risk to the public, two gorillas have been relocated this week. Long John Silverback has a new home at Jersey Harbour and Jambo Sana has taken a 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. Groovy Gorilla at Castle Green has proven very popular, which has unfortunately led to irresponsible parking nearby and the threat of fines being given to those found to be causing an infringement of traffic laws.
Durrell’s Fundraising Manager, Beth Gallichan explains, “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, but it's also a way to contribute to Durrell’s mission to create a wilder, healthier more colourful world for future generations to enjoy.”
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. On the 27th of July, the 40 life-size gorilla sculptures joined the troop of young gorillas that were created by artists, schools and community groups. 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 please text the gorilla name and a brief description to 07797 922 776.