Bison Becomes National Mammal After Obama Signs Legislation

The U.S. gained a national mammal today after President Barack Obama signed bipartisan, bicameral legislation granting the American bison that honor.

“For all Americans, the bison is the right choice to be our national mammal,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who led the Senate charge for the bison, said in a statement. “We look forward to honoring our new national mammal–hopefully with a live bison–at an induction ceremony in our nation’s capital.”

There are an estimated 500,000 bison scattered throughout the country with private herds in 49 of the 50 states. The one-ton creatures were valued at more than $336 million in 2014.

Legislation bestowing the honor upon the bison passed the House and Senate unanimously in the past month.

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(Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)