Nelson is the mane attraction

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A BIZARRE birthday bash took place at Rotherham this week, when fans of a stuffed lion called Nelson roared up, to celebrate his 65th!

Rotherham Mayor Shaun Wright cut a special cake at the mane event at Clifton Park Museum – while kids and their families made Nelson birthday cards and party hats and lion biscuits, while storytelling and a Nelson museum trail all added to the fun.

Nelson is thought to be the model for the stone lions by Nelson’s Column in London. He was a South African Cape lion – a species now extinct – and once toured Europe in a travelling menagerie. He died in 1872, aged 25, at Regents Park Zoo.

Shortly after the war, he was loaned to the Rotherham museum, then in 1970 was permanently donated by Joseph Whitacker, a natural history enthusiast and the owner of Blythe Hall. He now has his own den.