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Granite Products Sponsors A Tortoise Takeover On Jersey

Throughout the summer the Tortoise Takeover, an island-wide public art trail by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in partnership with Wild In Art, was launched– bringing together every part of Jersey's community with the goal of protecting endangered animals and raising awareness of the problems impacting their survival.

100 larger than life tortoise sculptures are dotted around the island for locals to spot when they are out and about. Each one is sponsored by a company and designed by different artists. The Granite Products tortoise named  ‘TONKA’ can be seen on the side of one of the Granite Products mixer trucks.

TONKA was named by Granite Products employees and designed by Marcus Davies, a London based artist and menswear designer who grew up in Jersey, who was inspired by natures natural green camouflage and tropical flowers when creating the tortoises design, which can be seen in the tortoise’s colourful patterns as well as shapes on the shell.

Granite Products works closely within the Jersey community and has a long history working with Durrell Zoo including recent volunteer work to help maintain animal enclosures inside the wildlife park. For the tortoise takeover event, the team at Granite Products worked with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to brand a concrete mixer truck which would help promote the trail.

Tortoises were the focus of the Island event as these animals, along with turtles, and terrapins are now the most threatened vertebrate group in the world. Durrell has worked with these animals for decades and once the trail ended, all the giant tortoise sculptures from the trail went under the hammer at an auction to raise funds to help build a new tropical house at Jersey Zoo with Tonka being sold for an amazing £11,500, which will go towards the Trust’s exciting vision for the new enclosure and will allow them to continue to care for these precious species.

Alex Shears, Jersey Zoo's Director of Fundraising and Communications, said "We care for some incredibly rare species at Durrell and these species need our help. Amphibian and reptiles are some of the most threatened and important species we work with, but they really need a new home at Jersey.”

Richard Diegan, Technical Sales Manager at Granite Products said: “Its always been great to work with Durrell and we are happy to sponsor another fantastic event. The team had a great time trying to decide on a name for the tortoise and were happy to see the funds Tonka raised at the auction, we can’t wait to see what the new tortoise house will look like.”