Rudolph’s 10,000-year-old ‘biggest reindeer ever’ relative gets Christmas clean

A world's biggest reindeer, thought to be an ancient ancestor of Santa's own helper Rudolph, will go on display over Christmas.

Found near Limerick, Ireland, in the 19th century, the skeleton is allegedly around 10,000-years-old, and stands at 7ft tall.

Experts have said that it was one of the largest deer ever to have lived.

It has been restored by those same experts at Leeds City Museum, and sports the “biggest antlers the world has ever seen”.

It was thought to have lived during the Pleistocene era more than 7,000 years ago.

The remains are owned by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society from Glennon's in Dublin for the sum of £38 when originally discovered.

Curators of natural sciences at the museum, Clare Brown and Rebecca Machin have been in charge of the restoration.

Ms Brown said: “The giant Irish deer must have been a truly spectacular sight and its remains are a stunning reminder of the remarkable prehistoric megafauna which walked the Earth during the Ice Age.

“A specimen of this size and scale which is displayed in such an eye-catching way can attract a lot of dust so it’s a difficult and ongoing task to keep it clean.

“Now it’s looking its best, we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to the museum over Christmas and giving them the opportunity to learn more about a very different and enthralling time in the history of the planet and its animal kingdom.”

The display will form part of the museum's Ice Age trail.

Leeds City Council's Councillor Jonathan Pryor said that the exhibition is “imaginative” and helps visitors explore in a “new and engaging” way over the festive period.

There is, confusingly, a second “world's largest reindeer”, but this time in Illinois, US.

It is a 40-foot tall beast, made entirely of lights, and forms part of a new Christmas display.

It took 10 days to build, and was unveiled yesterday, according to local reports.

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