Asta (from Astacopsis gouldi), more commonly known as the Giant Tasmanian Freshwater Crayfish, is the largest invertebrate in the world, and probably the largest crayfish puppet in the world.
Asta became a puppet in co-production with Snuff Puppets and Bob Brown Foundation funded by the support of a Lush Charity Pot Grant and Snuff Puppets own contribution, along with a team of 20 volunteers dedicating upwards of 300 hours to make the puppet to be used at community engagement events. Fully assembled, Asta is 7.7 meters in length, 3.5 meters in width, 2.1 meters tall and weighs 80kgs. While threatening in size and appearance, this species is more threatened than a threat itself.
Forests flanking Asta’s natural habitat in the Frankland River have been under threat by logging, which causes runoff. River siltation from land clearing is contributing to the massive decline of crayfish populations in the lower sections of many major catchments. There are currently no significant areas of crayfish habitat that are protected to the headwaters and no significant crayfish reserves.
Populations found in the Frankland River are typically a blue-white colour, possibly due to higher natural levels of copper in the water.
How to hire Asta
Asta the puppet, lives at The Drill Hall in Footscray, Melbourne along with hundreds of other Snuff Puppets and is available for hire at large festivals and community events either through the Bob Brown Foundation at a discounted fee structure or directly through Snuff Puppets. We continue to work in partnership to raise awareness for this endangered species. If you know of an opportunity for Asta to appear or would like to book her for a community festival or major event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org