University Park, Pennsylvania: Stuffed Nittany Lion

Penn State's mascot, the Nittany Lion, was a real lion. Dead over 150 years, it has been preserved for your enjoyment.

Penn State All-Sports Museum

Address:
1 Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Directions:
Penn State All-Sports Museum. At the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium, which is at N. University Drive and E. Park Ave. on Penn State's University Park campus.
Hours:
Tu-Sa 10 am - 4 pm; Su 12-4 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
814-865-0044
Admission:
Free.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nittany Lion. Stuffed Nittany Lion

People who know college football know of the Penn State mascot, the Nittany Lion. What most people may not know is that today's mascot lion is based on a real, dead lion, which is now on display in a place of honor at the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Exactly how this particular lion -- dead over 150 years -- inspired the mascot's creation is murky. One theory is that it was on exhibit at the old Wildlife Museum at Penn State (it had been shot in Pennsylvania) when a Penn State baseball player, envious of Princeton's tiger mascot, saw it and thought, hey, a lion would make a good mascot. It's had a number of homes since then, being forgotten and rediscovered several times. Now it appears to be enshrined at Penn State for good.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 07/06/2011]

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