This is Aurora. Isn't she a beauty? This Sunday 15 September, Aurora will lead Greenpeace's Arctic-inspired street parade along a route including the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge, finishing at the London headquarters of oil giant Shell in protest against their plans to drill in the Arctic.
Aurora is (as you can see) a double-decker-bus-sized polar bear puppet specially commissioned by Greenpeace for the event. Weighing in at three tons, she will be operated from inside by a team of 15 puppeteers (including artists from West End blockbuster War Horse) while a built-in sound system will create a polar soundscape. The 41-foot-long puppet is also fully articulated. The head and jaws move, and billowing sides will give the impression of breathing.
Made of reclaimed ship parts and recycled materials, Aurora will carry in her fur the names of more than 3.5 million people who have joined the global movement to protect the Arctic from industrial exploitation. Following the beast in the parade will be hundreds of people in polar bear costumes and other Arctic garb.
The parade starts at Victoria Tower Gardens (next to Parliament) on Sunday 15 September at midday. Take a look at the parade route here.
Thanks to Kristian Buss/Greenpeace for the images.