Giant chocolate sculpture of beloved gorilla arrives at Bristol Zoo Project

The chocolate cast weighs more than 45 kilograms and measures at a metre tall. Credit: Bristol Zoo Project

A giant golden chocolate sculpture of Bristol's most famous gorilla has gone on display at the City's zoo.

The chocolate cast of Alfred who lived at Bristol Zoo from 1930 until his death in 1948, took more than three weeks to make, weighs more than 45 kilograms and measures at one metre tall.

Alfred arrived at the Zoo on Thursday 10 August and visitors can see him at the Bear Wood classroom from now until the end of October.

Alfred is part of Bristol's edible histories art project, celebrating 650 years of the city.

The chocolate sculpture arrives at the zoo. Credit: Bristol Zoological Society

The project reveals some of Bristol's best history in the form of Fairtrade chocolate models, and Alfred has been funded by the zoo's supporters.

Upon arriving at the Zoo, Alfred was an instant hit with visitors.

He went on to become famous in America during World War II, when US Army troops stationed in Bristol took photographs and stories of him home and he appeared in the press there.

He is now a popular taxidermy attraction at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Alfred the gorilla at Bristol Zoo.

Four other objects have been chosen to tell the story of the city.

They include a mini-chocolate replica of the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot – the last of the iconic supersonic jets to be built and to fly from Filton (now the site of Aerospace Bristol), and the largest chocolate button in history at Glenside Hospital Museum. 

Edible Histories is a collaborative effort between Luke Jerram and Zara's Chocolates in Bedminster and has been funded by Mayor Dan Norris' West of England Mayoral Combined Authority.

Speaking at the start of the project, artist Luke Jerram said: "Bristol has got this amazing chocolate history. Fry's chocolate used to be based here and the easter egg was invented in Bristol.

"I was interested in a way of celebrating and interrogating Bristol's history. It's going to be interesting to see how people interact."

Justin Morris, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Zoological Society, added: “Alfred is remembered with great affection by many people in Bristol and this chocolate sculpture of him not only showcases our work in Equatorial Guinea, where we protect western lowland gorillas in the wild, it also points to the future."

Members of the public will be able to 'eat history' and taste the chocolate when visiting Bristol Zoo Project at the end of October.