Jersey gorilla statues raise £1.1m for new zoo enclosure

Image caption,
The vibrant gorillas were previously placed across different locations in Jersey to encourage islanders to get out and about

A collection of colourful gorilla sculptures has sold for more than £1.1m at auction.

The cash will be used to build a new home for Jersey Zoo's resident western-lowland gorillas.

The highest selling of the 43 statues, which feature designs by various artists, went for £72,000.

The Go Wild Gorillas had previously been located across Jersey in a bid to encourage residents and visitors to explore the island.

Image caption,
'The Space Between Us' gorilla was designed by Andy Coutanche and sold for £72,000

Leslie Dickie, of conservation charity Durrell Wildlife Trust which runs the zoo and organised the initial art project with Wild in Art, described the sale as "incredible".

After the first statue sold at the Royal Yacht Hotel on Wednesday for £20,000, she said: "We knew something special was about to happen."

The buyers are believed to have been both locally based and from abroad, with some of the gorillas making their way to the UK.

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