Excitement building as Paignton Zoo set to unveil Great Big Brick Safari

Linus the lion brick safari model

Linus the lion brick safari model - Credit: Archant

Staff at Paignton Zoo are busy getting the site ready for the launch of the year's biggest and most imaginative event - The Great Big Brick Safari – which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Red-ruffed lemur model

Red-ruffed lemur model - Credit: Archant

And with 80 life-sized model animals to install, there's plenty to do.

The Paignton Zoo gardeners have been landscaping areas to make space for the giant animals, preparing flat ground at points across a largely-undulating site.

Many of the brick animals are near their flesh and blood counterparts, while others are tucked away in unexpected corners.

The Great Big Brick Safari will be unveiled at Paignton Zoo on Wednesday, August 5.

Zebra brick model

Zebra brick model - Credit: Archant

Together, the sculptures took more than 258 days to build. They're made from more than 1,000,000 Lego bricks which, laid out end-to-end, would stretch for 20 miles.

Pippa Craddock, director of marketing and development at the zoo, said: 'We haven't had to make the models – the good people at Bricklive have done that.

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'We've planned the trail around the zoo, worked out where all the models can go, prepared the ground for them and created the settings, so they'll look the part.'

Bright Bricks are experienced in moving these models about – and the team at Paignton Zoo is also well-versed in this type of thing, having installed the Great Gorillas models around Devon in 2013 and the Great Big Rhinos in 2016.

Hyena brick safari model

Hyena brick safari model - Credit: Archant

It will take two days and a team of people to install The Great Big Brick Safari.

Guests can get up close to the models, including a towering life-size Bengal tiger constructed from 81,350 bricks and Duchess the Elephant, weighing a whopping 1.2 tonnes, which took a team of six builders over nine weeks to create using more than 149,000 bricks!

Pippa said: 'Every model is worth seeking out. The elephant is special for us, as we've been allowed to re-name her Duchess. She'll be easy to spot – but the bats might need a bit of effort. Here's a tip – look up! The tiger is also impressive, standing at nearly 2.5 metres.'

Other highlights include silverback gorilla, Gorman, which took four people 480 hours to create, a very proud lion called Linus, as well as Poppa and Pippin the penguins; Ludo, Leo and Lily lion cubs and Anthony the antelope - each one a masterpiece made with Lego bricks.

Warthog brick safari model

Warthog brick safari model - Credit: Archant

The Great Big Brick Safari runs from Wednesday, August 5, until Sunday, January 3, 2021.