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The Merlion is a mythical creature designed by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board to represent Singapore. A concept was first devised in 1963. It's a fish with a lions head hence the name; "mer" meaning sea/ocean and lion. This design has its origin in the legend of Singapores creation. A prince of a Sumatran kingdom, Sang Nila Utama, spotted a beautiful beach on the island of Temasek, where a fishing village was also located. Upon arrival, he spotted a beautiful lion and founded the city of Singapura, "Lion City".
The original Merlion statue is currently located in the Merlion Park in Marina Bay at the core of Singapore, visible from the entire waterfront. It's around 8.6 meters tall and constantly gushes water out of its mouth into the sea. Due to that, Singaporeans use "Merlion" as a euphemism for puking. Later on a smaller statue, dubbed the Merlion Cub, was placed behind it. In 2009, the large statue was struck by lightning but the damage was quickly repaired.
As a famous icon of Singapore, the Merlion has appeared or been mentioned in several games and TV series, such as YuruYuri, Cowboy Bebop, Animal Crossing and A Place Further Than The Universe. However, despite its popularity and fame, the statues don't appear to impress everyone. Among the Japanese, it is named one of the "Three Major Disappointments of the World" alongside the Little Mermaid (the statue in Copenhagen, not the tale) and Manneken Pis in Brussels.
Kemono Friends' Merlion only appeared in a tweet by Mine Yoshizaki for CharaExpo 2017, which hosted an event with Kemono Friends voice actresses. She has pure white waist-length hair with two lion ears at the front of her head. Her eyes have a vibrant emerald colour. She is wearing a white three button waist coat featuring a Singapore flag pocket square within it’s breast pocket, a white undershirt with a white cravat and pulled up sleeves. She also wears a pair of colonial breeches inspired white leggings and white gloves. The shoes Merlion wears are a pair of white penny loafers with a ribbed tongue. She has a very large fish tail covered in scallop shell shaped scales, with a slight rainbow-colored shadow along the bottom.