Great Gorillas Project with Paignton Zoo

South Devon will be sharing its streets and parks with 30 life-sized gorillas this summer as part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorillas Project, and YonYonson are pleased to be involved.

The Great Gorillas Project will raise money and awareness to help save Cross River gorillas from extinction. The Cross River gorilla is the most endangered African ape: their future is threatened by illegal hunting for bushmeat and habitat loss. There are now fewer than 300 Cross River gorillas left in the wild.

YonYonson have worked in conjunction with sponsors Francis Clark to design and decorate Francis the Gorilla. Francis Clark requested a simple design with their spirograph-inspired logo translated into a pattern for the gorilla. We went through a few modifications and at one point considered covering him in mirror tiles to create a giant disco gorilla!

Francis came to stay with us while we developed the final design. It’s not every day you have a life-sized gorilla in your living room, but he was the perfect houseguest and even attracted a few visitors of his own.

We decided on a base colour of shiny silver. Thanks to John Card for generously allowing us the use of his car body workshop. It was then a short hop over to Signs4U where we gave Francis his stripes. Again we received some invaluable help and advice in applying the design perfectly. The last step was a coat of laquer, and then we waved Francis off as he returned to the zoo.

We look forward to seeing Francis and all the other gorillas at the Great Gorillas Flotilla on Tuesday 23rd July in Torbay. We’ve also decorated two mini gorillas in the image of Francis which will be on display at Babbacombe Model Village.