The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is now home to a "ferocious" saber-toothed-cat puppet featured in a performance titled "Ice Age Encounters." On Wednesday the life-sized animatronic puppet will be "prowling" Miracle Mile, and to celebrate, the museum has commissioned free Coolhaus "saber-toothed cat" ice cream sandwiches (snickerdoodle ice cream with red velvet cookies). It's "the Ice Age plus ice cream," get it?
From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. catch the saber-toothed cat and Coolhaus on the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Curson Avenue. Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches will be available on a limited first-come, first-served basis.
The "Ice Age Encounters" live performance moves permanently to the Page Museum on Sept. 12, starring the saber-toothed-cat puppet. The shows are designed to bring to life how animals became stuck in the area's asphalt seeps and the latest theories about the behavior of an extinct Ice Age mammal.
The saber-toothed-cat puppet was built in 2010 by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and is operated by two puppeteers. One performer wears the 75-pound costume like a parachute harness and controls the shoulders, chest, waist, pelvis and forearms. A second puppeteer controls the robotic head via remote. The head contains motors that make it bite, blink and roar. What the saber-toothed cat actually sounded like isn't known, but the Natural History Museum and Page Museum sound specialists put together a mix of noises from other big cats such as lions, tigers and leopards. The cat puppet performs with her saber-toothed cub, Nibbles, an 8-pound marionette created by puppet master Robin Walsh ("Team America," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer").