Wow! Gorillas

By the foot of the Suspension Bridge stands Gorisambard

Lifesize and just a bit overwhelming….
lipstick gorilla
Lipstick gorilla graces the Promenade
Lipstick’s face is kiss free..
Noah Gorilla Bristol Zoo
Each one I find I fall more in love….
I love Noah’s blue eyes…

There are sixty of these gorillas altogether. The furthest away is at Birmingham Coach station but the vast majority are to be found in Bristol this summer as part of Bristol Zoological Gardens 175th birthday celebrations.

The gorillas have their own face book page and I am going to be on the lookout, might even go out hunting to see how many I can find over the next ten weeks or so.  I think I’ll put them on a page rather than drive you all mad posting pictures, but I couldn’t resist posting this right now.

I think they are fabulous and I am going to donate £1 to the Zoo fund for each one I find.

There is a map showing where they all are here. If you are in the area this summer and happen to see one, let me know.  My favourite so far is Gorisambard, just too cool for words with his sideburns.

Here come the gorillas!

And the real ones at Bristol Zoo itself  Edit: (courtesy of MrsLucyLocket) who kindly wrote to me last night…


Hello, I am pleased that you like the video. Yes, no problem with the link embedded in your blog.
I have just seen your blog. I like the one about the lime trees and madeleines. Very nice, and I love the Iittala china with the dragonflies – we’ve just bought some ourselves. 
I can see you are Bristol based, so are we. We are into videography, documentary and photography, having done a lot with hot air balloons and the Gordon Bennett Balloon race over the last few years. We are into anything that moves and lots of stills photography and of course Bristol is a great place for all the action.
Love the baking by the way.

40 thoughts on “Wow! Gorillas

  1. sallybr

    The coolest thing ever! Loved the video, particularly the look of the parent to the two misbehaving “kids” – priceless!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Sally I don’t know if the statues are cool, but they are very photogenic and anything that raises awareness of the plight of our fellow travellers can only be a good thing.

  2. Suelle

    When we were on holiday in Vancouver a few years ago, there were polar bear statues dotted about everywhere, and in Halifax (Canada) last year there were dolphins – it was fun looking out for them, and reading about what the style of decoration meant to the artist!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Maybe it’s a worldwide movement, decorating cities with totemic animals like these. I would have loved to have seen the bears and the dolphins Suelle!

      1. Charlie

        Hi Joanna,
        Look out for our lions in Bournemouth this summer and also, historically we did penguins in Liverpool, lions in Northampton and Nairobi, elephants in Norwich, rhinos in Chester, hippos in Rutland, toads in Hull, Superlambananas in Liverpool and soon rhinos in Sao Poalo and lions in Cape Town. We also have another couple of exciting projects in the UK next year but I cant say what yet!

  3. heidi

    Loved this post!
    Looking out for gorillas is not a normal summer past time- and yet you do it with such panache.And donating a pound for each gorilla- so clever and generous.
    Is Zeb interested in the gorillas? Or does he just yawn and lift- well- you know what I mean.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Heidi I wasn’t expecting to see them, but they are kind of hard to miss, being so small and inconspicuous. And then once I had found about it, it aroused the bird spotter in me and now I want to see them all…. Zeb hasn’t seen one yet, he is a bit of a wuss and will probably quake a little and refuse to go anywhere near them, or he’ll bark a lot :)

  4. C

    Love them! I seem to remember there being cows all over the place a few years ago. I’m sure they were promoting awareness of something, but I’ve forgotten what….

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Jane, I suspect their placement is to do with who is sponsoring them and the artists’ designs where appropriate. Gorisambard is named for Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Designer and Engineer. He built the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain and much more. I was reading on their website last night and the schools of Bristol are all involved too and have smaller ones of their own to decorate. One has gone to a school in Cameroom too. It seems to be a really big project. I dug out this pic of IKBrunel to share from Wikipedia for you
      Isambard Kingdom Brunel

      1. teawithhazel

        thanks joanna for your informative reply and the picture of brunel..knowing there is a story attached to each animal confers more meaning and thus a greater appreciation of the installations..jane

        1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

          hee hee – don’t know who was kissing the orange one though…. Marilyn Munro? Brian knows all about Brunel, the short man with the big hat, (as he volunteers on the SS Great Britain) he came in, squinted at the pic and said “Do you know where that was taken?” Apparently London and the chains are from the Great Eastern another of Brunel’s boats (too much info eh?) – our biggest tourist attraction after the zoo!

  5. Amanda

    Hmm, gorilla’s – interesting. I’m a bit jealous that you have real ones in your zoo – we don’t have them here in Adelaide.

  6. bagnidilucca

    It is a bit like the buddy bears that travel about. I saw the in Helsinki, but I think they have travelled quite a bit. I love the video, you could watch these amazing animals all day.

  7. Melanie Corley

    Last year we had a similar phenomenon here, but with horses. Lexington hosted the 2010 World Equestrian Games and there were decorated horses everywhere. It was indeed very fun to drive around and point out our favorite horses. I dunno, I think Lipstick is kinda cute. Is that a green kiss on his side that I see?
    Wonderful gorilla video! They are never usually that acitve at our zoo, especially when its hot. They usually just sit in some shade, scratch themselves with one hand and eat fruit or something with the other:)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Come to Bristol, full of monkey business – I’ve been seeing some extra mini ones around too today. Lots of fun here! Chatting to all sorts of people about them, they put a smile on everyone’s face :)

  8. jan trounce

    Gorisambard looks so sad; I like Noah – he’s got a lovely sheepish look – maybe he’s the one planting the kisses on Lipstick:) The animatronics Gorilla looked so real I don’t think I’d be sticking around to ask questions – and I’d be hoping it couldn’t sprint too!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      It’s getting interesting, saw quite a few yesterday and their expressions vary hugely depending on how they have been brought to life. I’m glad Zeb didn’t meet the animatronics one, I”m hoping to introduce him to some today, taking him with me when we go out hunting ;)

  9. Anet

    Oh, I just love these. We had similar styles of art, though the animal was a mule, here in a small county city in TN. (There is a “mule festival” every April. ) I’ve seen cows, pigs, fish, and other critters all over the midwest USA.
    I’ve already sent the info to my daughter and family who just moved to the UK. My 2 year old granddaughter will go “bananas”.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Mule Day! I just had to go and look that one up right away :) / Hey that looks like great fun too :) I hope your family are happy here, you must miss them, are you going to come and visit soon?

  10. Anet

    Mule Day is hilarious for such an ornery animal.
    I do miss the “kids” — we will be visiting in September.
    (I’m bringing my sourdough starter to try some of the local flours. Any suggestions?)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think that’s great you are taking your starter with you :) Depends where you will be staying I guess on what the local flours will be. Here is a link to a map showing all the working water and wind mills in the UK where they mill flour still. Also a link to the Cornmillers Guild which has more information. I buy a lot of flour milled at Shipton Mill. I am very keen to try some of the heritage flours being produced in Oxfordshire but I haven’t had the opportunity yet.

  11. Rupert Thorpe

    These Gorillas are a great Idea,
    I’ve seen similar projects in a few different Cities, but they seem to be more popular here than anywhere else.

    I’ve Been taking photos of them any putting them on a website: (Click on Rupert’s name above if you would like to see his photos)

    Every time I go take a photo I see loads of other people with there kidds etc…

    Also – I have seen parts of Bristol that I would never have seen.

    1. Joanna Post author

      hi Rupert, I’ve got a bit behind and time is running out, must make an effort and see a few more this weekend! All my photos are on a separate blog, link in the menubar and in the sidebar above. Thanks for visiting me. :)

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