LOS ANGELIS – It was a quilling experience for everyone.
Percy, a porcupine doll of incredible size, came out of his giant stump home to an audience of students and media representatives at a park in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
The charming beast inspired oh and wow as he blinked his drooping eyes and opened his mouth to show his teeth. It stood nearly two stories high, the size of a Volkswagen.
A joint project of the San Diego Zoo Alliance and Jim Henson’s creature store, Percy was launched to celebrate the opening next week of Wildlife Explorers’ new zoo base camp.
Six months into the planning, the doll was modeled on a South American-born hand-to-hand porcupine. It has a circumference of almost 40 feet (12 meters) and has 2,000 foam feathers, which needed paint worth a house to lay stripes.
“We’ve made some fantastic creatures a little bigger, but in terms of animal duplication, this is the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” said Peter Brook, Jim Hanson’s creative director of Creature Shop.
The catching tail, which gives the name of the inhabitant of trees, fruit-eating species, exists in this case only in the imagination. Only the front half exists and stands out, and the rest seems to remain in a safe place in the body.
“It’s basically based on a large inflatable with the addition of mouth, jaw and mechanical eyes,” Brooke said.
A real porcupine with a catching tail was at the scene in the Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium. The porcupine was “lost” before appearing in its giant puppet form after children carried banana bunches to lure it.
“I think she’s getting closer, I think I know exactly what’s going on for her,” Basecamp singer Jennifer Popagain said before pulling out her own giant banana.
The children counted back, then went out to Percy after she showed up.
After another media stop, Percy will walk down the coast to his permanent home at the San Diego Zoo.
Wildlife Explorers Base Camp is a 3.2-acre zoo designed to teach families about the interactions and interdependence of humans, plants, animals and their habitats.
The species presented there will include a turtle, an ocelot, a caiman, an anteater known as a tamandua, and, of course, a porcupine with a tail handle.
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Needle and shivers like a revealed amazing porcupine doll
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