Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: April 25, 2022 9:16 pm
Percy the porcupine puppet is viewed by a crowd of onlookers on Earth Day at the San Diego Zoo in California.
Photo Credit: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
Guests visiting the San Diego Zoo on Earth Day (April 22nd) were greeted by an unexpected animal. Percy, a prehensile tailed porcupine puppet made her first appearance in San Diego.
The awe inspiring puppet stands 17ft (5.2m) tall and took over 1,200 hours to craft.
Percy is modelled on a prehensile tailed porcupine. She made her debut in Los Angeles last month ahead of her first day on site at the San Diego Zoo for Earth Day.
In a release the zoo said “Her first-ever appearance at the San Diego Zoo created unique moments of wonder for guests of all ages, aimed at further igniting their passion for wildlife and inspiring new wildlife allies.”
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Percy was brought to life by the team at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. They started by creating a virtual model of a prehensile tailed porcupine which they could use to create the puppet.
Each quill on the puppet has been hand-carved and attached to the body. The eyelids can be made to blink using a large rope pull and her mouth and jaw will also move.
The puppet was inspired by a real life prehensile-tailed porcupine, Inca who guests can meet in the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp habitat which recently opened at the San Diego Zoo.
Inca can be found exploring her two-storey rainforest inspired habitat. Guests visiting the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp are able to come face-to-face with animals from across the globe and are given a chance to explore habitats from their perspective.
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