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US Gets 1st Official National Mammal

Congratulations to the American bison
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2016 2:40 PM CDT
US Gets 1st Official National Mammal
An American bison roams near US Route 385 in Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota.   (Hannah Hunsinger/Rapid City Journal via AP)

(Newser) – The American bison, also known as the buffalo, is the US' first official national mammal. (We thought that honor would go to Tom Hanks or Bill Murray, but whatevs.) The AP reports a ceremony was held Tuesday at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota to celebrate the result of six years of work between the Wildlife Conservation Society and Congress. The society's director tells the Rapid City Journal she hopes this will increase interest in ongoing efforts to revive the bison population.

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The ceremony was held in November for Native American Month; the bison is central to Native American creation stories. “The buffalo brought the human from below the surface to the Earth with some covenants made—that they would provide everything for us and in return we would treat them with respect and honor," the executive director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council says. "As long as either of us exists that relationship still exists." (Read more bison stories.)

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