THE Great Gorillas event comes to its conclusion at Paignton Zoo this weekend. People will pour into the zoo to say goodbye as all of the life-sized hand-painted gorillas are gathered together for the last time.
It will be a shame to see them go, but I suppose it wouldn't seem to have been such a special occasion if they were here for ever more.
You can read all the details about the event elsewhere in this paper but the basic idea is that all of the big gorillas will be back in one place one last time before the whole project is brought to a close with an auction.
When they first suggested the gorilla trail, there were some who were a bit sceptical, but surely we are all agreed now that it has been a triumph.
To mark the 90th birthday of the zoo and highlight its work on gorilla conservation projects, the great apes were scattered far and wide across Torbay and Exeter.
People embraced the concept and went out gorilla hunting. We did it on our bikes, setting off one summer evening to bag as many of the gorillas as we could.
Some of them were safely locked indoors, which exposed a flaw in our original plan, but the members of the Velo Club de Paignton duly bagged and photographed all of the outdoor ones in a single evening.
We even spotted some of the hard-to-find indoors ones, including one hiding halfway up the stairs in Brixham Library, visible through the window from the road outside.
The one at the new Energy Centre at South Devon College was quite well concealed, too, but we found it eventually.
We finished the evening, appropriately we thought, at the Noah's Ark, which is not only the zoo's own 'local' but also sells a good pint and has the right name for an evening of animal-related shenanigans.
The local 4x4 off-road club were having their AGM there that night, and had plenty of food to spare. It was a winning evening on a number of levels.
In Bristol, the summer has seen dozens of Gromits unleashed across the city in a similar project.
The large glass-fibre replicas of Aardman's most famous animation creation have drawn thousands of visitors trying to complete the trail and tick them all off.
We went to see them and take some pictures, only to find each one thronged with people and some actually having long queues of fans waiting to take their snaps.
There were a couple of hidden treasures, too. You had to try to find the penguin and the Wrong Trousers, the villains of one of the films, so we went up the side street to Aardman Animation's headquarters thinking it would be there.
We photographed a spectacular pink Gromit but didn't see any penguins.
If only we had looked up, because we later discovered the penguin had been looking down from an upstairs window all the time.
And the Torbay gorillas have succeeded in very much the same way. Every time I have driven through Station Square in the past few weeks there have been people taking pictures of the big green gorilla outside the library.
The same in Victoria Street.
I liked them all, but I voted for Nacho as my favourite in the final poll.
He didn't win, but I liked the way he looked out inscrutably over the Shoalstone Pool car park in his Mexican wrestling mask. The reasons why he was actually in a Mexican wrestling mask were lost on me but it didn't really matter. He looked great.
The signs ask you not to climb onto the gorillas for health and safety reasons, but that hasn't stopped them from being ridden throughout the summer by hundreds of children and adults.
It has been a project to be proud of.
As Paigntonians, we sometimes tend to overlook the zoo just because it's right in the middle of our town and we have always known it to be there.
Visitors stand stock-still in the road, frozen to the spot by fear. "What on earth is that?" they ask.
"Oh, that's just the lions," we say blithely. "You can hear them most nights."
Various birds and monkeys provide an exotic soundtrack that we hardly hear any more, so accustomed are we.
There are roars and barks most nights coming from down in the valley somewhere, and whoops and shrieks and mating calls.
It's all part of the rich tapestry of living in Paignton.
And there's no need to fret about getting the latest forecasts on your weather apps.
If you want to know when a storm is coming, just listen to the zoo's meteorological chorus.
As the sky darkens and the clouds build, you may wonder if there might be thunder.
The peacocks know, because about 20 minutes before a storm they start to go off on an ear-splitting round of calls.
It's very good of them, because it gives you time to get the washing in or hurry up on the dog walk. Usually the lions join in a few minutes before the first clap of thunder echoes over the town.
It works every time.
Clever things, peacocks.
If you live out of earshot of the zoo, maybe you should get yourself a few peacocks. Their weather forecasts are every bit as reliable as those on TV, although they probably don't look quite so sharp in a suit as David Braine off the BBC.