Giant Freshwater Lobster puppet, currently under construction for debut at SLF’s Big Weekend.

In a partnership between Bob Brown Foundation and Snuff Puppets, the construction of a 5 metre long, 2 metre high, giant blue freshwater lobster puppet began late last year. The puppet is a larger than life size replica of the Tarkine’s Giant Freshwater Lobster, a creature found nowhere else in the world other than a small number of rivers in Tasmania’s northwest.

“The habitat of this unique species is threatened by sediment and run off from logging of the Tarkine’s ancient forests that flank the river where this species lives,” Tarkine campaigner Emma Wasson told the Festival.

So far the construction of this puppet has taken more than 300 hours, with time donated by a group of 20 volunteers who have become active in Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign to protect the Tarkine from Melbourne.

Festival Partner, the Bob Brown Foundation hopes this giant roving lobster puppet will highlight to Melbourne the plight of threatened species in Tasmania’s ancient rainforests and that people at the festival will take lots of photos to share over social media using the handle #craycray.

Using our phone cameras and social media networks we can amplify the message that species like this are being pushed to the brink of extinction unless we stop destructive ancient rainforest logging, a practice well out of date in the 21st Century.

Currently there are activists in the threatened Sumac forests, defending them in tree sits, staying vigilant and ready to raise the alarm on logging activity which they hope to prevent again this summer. Tasmania’s Tarkine is one of the last wild places left on Earth. The Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign in Melbourne to activate citizen participation in this urgent campaign is growing and they will have a big summer of action planned.

The creation of this giant Snuff Puppet will continue this month. Painting and puppet operation training for volunteers will begin in early February. The puppet requires two puppeteers to operate and a team of marshals who will accompany this giant through the festival grounds handing out campaign information.

If you’d like to join the puppet team over the Festival’s Big Weekend, you can RSVP for training here.

Snuff Puppets have a wonderful reputation in building giant puppets commissioned by the Nation Gallery of Victoria and have built their business through the grassroots environmental movement of Melbourne. We’ve also had support from the Lush Charity Pot to aid the construction of this campaign prop.