Go Go Gorillas: Norfolk schools join Norwich art trailContinue reading the main story
A band of 67 baby gorillas turned heads in Norwich as they were guest passengers on a Routemaster bus ready to be dropped off at stops along a conservation art trail in the city.
Painted by more than 12,000 school children across Norfolk, the pieces of art have been added to the city's 53-strong life-sized Go Go Gorilla trail.
Organised by Norfolk charity Break, the trail was launched on Monday.
Retailers said it had helped encourage people to shop locally.
The baby gorillas, standing 2ft (0.6m) tall are about the size of a three-year-old western lowland gorilla in the wild.
They will form a school's art trail throughout Norwich's shops, malls and cafes.
- Western gorillas are smaller and lighter than their eastern cousins which allows them to be agile climbers
- There are two sub-species of western gorilla - the widespread lowland gorilla and the rarer cross river gorilla
Championship barista Alex Sargeant, from Strangers Coffee in the Norwich Lanes, said: "A trail like this pulls people away from the main shops to discover the city's wider retail offer and encourages them to explore local shops at a time when retail, generally, is suffering.
"We've had our gorilla for about an hour and the number of people who've stopped to take photos is just incredible."
A spokesman from community arts organisation Wild In Art said with 120 sculptures, the Norwich Go Go Gorilla trail is the largest of its kind in England this summer. Other conservation-based trails are taking place in Colchester, Southampton and Exeter.
Martin Green, fundraising officer at Break, said: "We chose a gorilla because in the wild they protect and look after their family.
"This echoes what Break does as a charity in supporting vulnerable families and young people - not just from an early age, but through to adult hood where they can fend for themselves."
Fiona Muller, from Wild in Art, said: "More than 60 schools have been involved with the baby gorilla project.
"It was an opportunity for the pupils to learn about biology, science and other curriculum-based projects while painting the gorilla and it's great to see so much artwork by creative young people go on show."
The Go Go Gorillas trail runs until 7 September, the pieces will then be auctioned in October.