A giant 7 meter puppet of the world’s largest freshwater invertebrate will roam along Birrarung Marr at the Festival’s Big Weekend. The Astacopsis gouldi, or Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster, lives exclusively in a small number of rivers in the ancient rainforests of the state’s northwest. It’s a flagship species for the region, and an iconic mascot for the Bob Brown Foundations campaign to protect, takayna / Tarkine one of the last wild places on Earth.
The organization has been working with Footscray-based experimental giant puppet theater company, Snuff Puppets, to make the world’s largest freshwater lobster puppet. (We think!)
“It’s been interesting engineering the anatomy of this alien like species into an operational puppet form”. Snuff Puppets creator Nick Wilson said. “This animal has so much character and presence, and we’re working on quite a big scale, so it’s going to be a really impressive sight on the banks of the Yarra.”
These unique species can grow to weigh up to 6kg and measure 1m long with a 40+ year life span. With disproportionately large front claws, like the bulging biceps on a bodybuilder, two antennae protruding above googly eyes and eight tarantula-like legs enhance its other-worldly appearance. Oh, and did we mention it’s blue?
Despite its tough-guy image, this river monster is threatened by native forest logging, as it is extremely sensitive to sedimentation caused by upstream run-off from land clearing.
It is imperative that we acknowledge the importance of leaving the habitat of these rare creatures as it has been for millennia, to ensure that remaining populations of these iconic giants have a secure future.
The Bob Brown Foundation is campaigning for permanent protection of takayna / Tarkine in a World Heritage listed National Park, and returned to Aboriginal ownership. This is the only feasible way to preserve critical habitat for these giants of the Tasmanian northwest.
Our Melbourne campaign aims to activate citizen participation on this urgent issue.
Bob Brown will be giving a key note presentation at 1:30pm on Sunday the 11th in the Dome which will be sure to inspire you to become an active advocate for the Tarkine and the species that call it home
Keep an eye out for our giant Tarkine Lobster Snuff Puppet roaming the Festival and on screen at the VR activation space.
Friday 12pm – 4pm
Saturday 12pm – 4pm
Sunday 12pm – 4pm