Colchester: Zoo celebrates birthday with 112 giraffes


- Credit: Archant

An ambitious art project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Colchester Zoo has been launched in style.

A model giraffe painted by pupils at Hamilton Primary School in Colchester was air-dropped into the zoo’s grounds via helicopter on Friday - the first of 112 model giraffes to be placed at locations all over the town at the weekend.

Eighty of the colourful statues - measuring 1.3metres - have been painted by children from schools from around Essex while 30 taller models - measuring 2.5metres - have been donated by businesses. Each giraffe has its own theme, such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, an Indian-inspired concept and a 1960s design.

Commander of Colchester Garrison, Colonel Mike Newman, joined Zoo director Anthony Tropeano to watch the first airbourne animal arrive.

“This project is fantastic for the town and I can’t wait to see all the sculptures out on the streets,” he said.

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The sculptures will be dotted around the streets, shops, parks and open spaces of Colchester for 12 weeks while a competition is being held for people to locate all 30 taller giraffes via a smartphone app with a £7,000 safari holiday as the major prize.

The Stand Tall for Giraffes project is being run in partnership with art event specialist Wild in Art which has successfully staged similar events in other parts of the UK, as well as in Europe. After being on show for 12 weeks, the schools will be given their giraffes, while the taller models will be auctioned off to raise money for the zoo’s charity Action for the Wild.

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