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A Saber-toothed Cat Puppet Struts Across Wilshire to the La Brea Tar Pits

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Pedestrians and office workers in Miracle Mile thought they saw a prehistoric cat walking along Wilshire Boulevard last week. They were mostly right.

The slinky, smilodon fatalis puppet, formerly a fixture at the Natural History Museum, was making its way to the La Brea Tar Pits Page Museum where it will begin a new life on Sept 12 as the star performer in the Ice Age Encounters program.

The giant saber-toothed cat puppet, created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop in 2010, requires a human to hide inside and wear the 75-pound costume like a parachute harness. Arm stilts control two of the legs, and a second puppeteer remotely controls the robotic head making it bite, blink and roar. After dire wolves, saber-toothed cats are the most commonly found fossil in the La Brea Tar Pits.

(c) La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

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