Education Outreach Programme
In 2011 Bristol Zoo Gardens celebrated its 150th anniversary with a gorilla sculpture trail called Wow! Gorillas. 61 life-sized gorilla sculptures, sponsored by local businesses and painted by local artists were placed around the streets of greater Bristol for 1 weeks, in a mass public art event. The project aimed to raise awareness about and increase public engagement with gorilla conservation. Schools participated in the Wow Gorillas project by purchasing a small gorilla sculpture to design and decorate. They displayed their gorilla in their local community, to create a mini gorilla trail as part of the event.
Schools and sponsors received a gorilla outreach visit from a dedicated Gorilla Outreach Officer as part of a wider education programme to provide participants with a unique opportunity to discover more about gorillas, including the threats they face in the wild, and how to take positive actions to support gorilla conservation. Schools also received a gorilla resource pack which contained guidance on gorilla design and ideas for teachers to use to incorporate gorillas into their teaching across the curriculum.
The programme proved to be extremely successful with over 101 gorillas sold to 98 schools and 17,000 school children taking part in one or all aspects of the project. 95% of schools said the project had really inspired their students and said their students had actively taken an interest in finding out more. More than 90% of schools and other educational institutions have since taken positive action to support gorilla conservation.
Bristol Zoo Gardens
WINNER of the BIAZA Awards 2012 Malcolm Whitehead Award (Best Education Project: Schools and Educational Institutions)