SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A country's national animal is often an iconic image of the country, its people and their way of life.
In the United States, it's the bald eagle, which is described as majestic and legendary.
Some countries have designated multiple animals as the symbol of their country, like Mexico, which honors an arthropod, mammal, marine mammal and even a national dog. Some are more whimsical: The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.
And now the United States may have more than one national animal, too.
At the end of June, a bill was re-introduced in the U.S. House to designate the bison as the national mammal of the United States. It's called the National Bison Legacy Act. This bill was introduced for a second time in the House by Reps. William Lacy Clay of Missouri, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Jose Serrano of New York and South Dakota's Kristi Noem.
“Bison are an ever-present figure within American history,” Noem said in a statement. “Naming this iconic animal as our national mammal is an appropriate way to solidify their place as an enduring American symbol.”
Not only are bison a figure of American history, they appear in several different forms across the country. They are present on Wyoming and Kansas' state flag. And they are on the seal of the Department of the Interior. They have appeared on U.S. currency. And they are the mascot for several sports teams – including North Dakota State University.
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Source: Associated Press