Video: America Gets a National Mammal: Five Things You Need to Know About the Bison

People joked about it, but the U.S. gained a new national symbol this week when President Barack Obama signed legislation designating the bison our national mammal. 

Give me a minute and a half of your time, and I’ll give you five key things you need to know about our new national symbol.

  1. There are more than 500,000 bison spread throughout 49 of the 50 states.
  2. Bison unite Republicans and Democrats. Legislation naming the bison our national mammal cleared Congress unanimously.
  3. Theodore Roosevelt played a big role in ensuring the bison didn’t go extinct.
  4. Privately owned bison are on more than 2,500 sites throughout the country and are valued at more than $336 million.
  5. There really is a lobby for everything. The Vote Bison Coalition, which comprises more than 50 groups, led the charge for the designation.

Bloomberg BNA has followed the bison’s path toward national symbol and may turn up at the live induction ceremony—with a live bison—in Washington, D.C., to formally commemorate the designation.