Monday, 18 April 2011

More Taxidermy!

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) mascot is the “nittany lion”, which refers to mountain lions living on Mount Nittany near the university.

So far, so good. Big cats make excellent mascots. They’re awesome, and people don’t look as racist dressed up as lions or tigers as, say, the “fighting Irish" or the “Redskins”.

In 1920, the school was gifted with a pair of stuffed mountain lions, purported to be the last of their kind (mountain lions were hunted out of Pennsylvania).

Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘hey, 1920 wasn’t that long ago!’ (Not like 1731). ‘And it was a local animal! The taxidermist must have had some idea what it was doing!’

And, compared to that Swedish lion, you’d be right.*

However, compared to nature?

Perhaps not so much.

I don’t know what it is about taxidermy that morphs animals into Saturday morning cartoons, but this poor lion is one step away from a sidekick and some zany adventures.

*Of course, compared to Siegfried, my banner is a realistic depiction of a lion.

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