Bats for a Halloween photo op / by Martin

I saw this clever photo opportunity at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. The kids are hanging from the ceiling - seemingly. All I had to do was turn and crop the photo.
Here is the original:
At the very right of the photo you can make out the arm of the kids' mother taking the photo.
The photo op is next to the entrance of the fruit bat exhibit.
Looking at the first photo with the two girls hanging upside down, I find the floor boards disrupt the illusion of the kids hanging from the ceiling. To remedy this I would paint the floor in the same color as the wall, and maybe treat the ceiling with floorboards.
This quick Photoshop-sketch shows what I mean: the floor resembles a ceiling and the ceiling resembles the floor.
Of course you can also crop the floor boards out of the photo. This is the first photo from the post, but while taking out the floor makes the illusion more realistic I find the missing feet distracting.

The sign with the big text also helps to support the illusion; and allows you to market your zoo or conservation message cheaply and easily. Think of how many friends and family members will see this photo on the family blog, Facebook, a wall calendar, or in a scrapbook.

A few years ago, an online German zoo magazine was complaining about the nonsense of having Halloween in zoos. Zoos in the US have successfully stretched their season with these celebrations. They've both created more money and spread their conversation message to more people.
"We own Halloween" a speaker declared at the 2007 AZA conference in Philadelphia. Indeed, a visit to the zoo around Halloween seems to become a new tradition for many families. And this photo op is a great way to share your conservation message; especially if your zoo is planning a Pumpkin path, or a Boo at the Zoo event. Maybe your art department could crank out a photo op as shown above in a couple of days if you make it out of plywood  instead of FRP. After all, bats aren't just a Halloween icon - 2011 is the Year of the Bat.

Below are few interesting links that fit the topic.
The WAZA already prepared a flyer filled with fun facts ready to print out and post next to your photo op.
The official Bat of the Year site:
Bats are found nearly everywhere and approximately 1,200 species account for almost a quarter of all mammals. Nevertheless, in recent decades their populations have declined alarmingly. Many are now endangered, though they provide invaluable services that we cannot afford to lose. 
Louisville Zoo plans World's Largest Halloween Party
Ghosts and goblins will be taking over the Louisville Zoo on weekends throughout October.
More than 80,000 people are expected to attend what is billed as the World’s Largest Halloween Party.
"we own Halloween"
"Face it," said Kelly, Zoo Atlanta's CEO. "We own Halloween."
Indeed, goose bumps are good business. As Zoo Atlanta prepares to unveil "Boo at the Zoo" this evening, other zoos and aquariums around the country also are opening their gates to give folks the creeps.