If you spent most of your time in Torbay this summer trying to spot great big rhinos then you'd have been in Heaven this weekend at Paignton Zoo. The attraction celebrated the end of the rhinos' time in Torbay and Exeter by gathering them around the zoo and on its main drive for the great big Goodbye Rhinos event.
Since my mum's been happily spotting brightly painted rhino after brightly painted rhino during the campaign, I took her along to see all 42 of them one last time...and what a sight they made. It was fantastic to be able to get up close to each design and admire it in detail, and the thought that's gone into each and every one is one of the things that's made this event so special.
And then there's the fun of choosing your favourite...families had turned out in their hundreds, and although it sounded like the iron man rhino was the winner (I literally heard one excited dad shrieking "the iron man rhino is amazing!") I think my heart still lies with Tranquility, who stood on Babbacombe Downs this summer. The orange and black made me think of African sunsets every time I saw her, and when the sun shone on those sunny Torquay days she looked resplendent.
There were 42 life size rhinos in total, and not only did they make for great fun spotting them throughout the summer and checking out the individual designs, but they've raised awareness of the conservation threat faced by wild rhinos. And if you want to keep a miniature version of your favourite great big rhino, you can buy ceramic versions at Paignton Zoo. The life size rhinos will be auctioned by Paignton Zoo on 3rd November to support the conservation of rhinos.