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Protect Like a Mother: Ferocious animals coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pop-Up Museum Open for This Weekend Only

May 18, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
For this weekend only, Brooklyn Bridge Park will have three massive animal sculptures installed at Brooklyn Bridge Plaza. The animals are part of Lysol’s “Protect Like A Mother” campaign, which celebrates all that a mother does to protect its young. Renderings courtesy of Lysol
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Exploring the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park, visitors are treated to lush forestry filled with more than 120 different species of birds.

From peregrine falcons and Baltimore orioles to buffleheads and ravens, the green is filled with wildlife of all shapes and sizes.

And for this weekend only, Brooklynites can feast their eyes on a trio of wild animals normally found in only the most remote parts of the world.

But do not be alarmed, the creatures are not real. They are instead massive sculptures of mothers and their young.

The beasts, which were designed by the Greenpoint-based installation company SFDS, include an octopus, a golden eagle and a 24-foot-tall orangutan.

The installations are constructed out of steel frames, Styrofoam, fiberglass coating and paint.

Originally planned for Mother’s Day weekend, the two-day open-air exhibit was moved to this weekend due to inclement weather.

The campaign, dubbed “Protect Like a Mother,” is an effort to show how Lysol — a company that makes disinfectant sprays — helps mothers protect their children from bacteria in a similar way that wild animals defend their offspring.

“The idea behind the exhibition is to highlight and dramatize all of the ways that the protective instincts of mothers come to life within the animal kingdom,” said Lysol Marketing Director for Europe and North America Rory Tait. “Then use an analogy to explain and show how the protective instincts of human mothers can come to life in various, incredible ways, as well.

“That was the synthesis for the idea. How could we, instead of shouting and advertising our point of view and message on television, how could we bring it to life in a way that exemplifies exactly as a brand what we’re trying to stand for and talk about?”

There will be an educational element to the exhibit as wildlife expert Dave Salmoni will be on hand to provide fun facts about the animals and to answer questions raised by inquisitive minds.  

There will also be literature posted about the mothers and how they were chosen for the pop-up exhibit.  

The animals will be on display Saturday and Sunday at Brooklyn Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

“We wanted it to be in an area that was as interesting, dramatic and imposing as the exhibition that we’re putting together itself,” Tait told the Brooklyn Eagle. “And certainly, the location underneath the bridges is exactly that.”

The three animals on display were chosen due to the extreme lengths that each species goes to to protect its young from predators and to make sure they grow up safe. Children will be able to climb on all of the structures.

The octopus was chosen for the long and extreme lengths she goes to to make sure her young survive the early stages of birth.

After laying more than 100,000 eggs, the mother octopus cleans and aerates the eggs by gently blowing bubbles over their tiny, gestating bodies. The octopus will do this for roughly a year, never stopping to feed herself. After a year, the mother octopus will often die from exhaustion.

While many mothers have a hard time seeing their children go off to college, the orangutan takes this concept to a whole other level.

For the first six months of a baby orangutan’s life, the mother does not break physical contact with her newborn, even as she cascades and swings through the jungle canopy. For the next seven years, the primate will teach her offspring the skills necessary to survive in the wild.

Countless mothers come to the sad realization that their kids will one day leave the nest, but for the mother golden eagle, that is literally the case.

For 50 days, the mother golden eagle will ferociously protect her babies in their nest from predators and hunt for food. Once the chicks can fly on their own, they will be able to leave their sylvan home.

“We wanted to bring home this story to the human mother and the lengths that they go to to protect their own children,” Tait told the Eagle. “The final part of the exhibit is a video montage of the mothers who were at the exhibition themselves.

“We thought it was a very nice conclusion to highlight the very extreme things that mothers go to to protect their children when they’re in danger. But actually on a daily basis, every mother is doing the utmost to protect their children.”


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