Special Report

Take a Look at the Official Pets and Animals of Every State

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41. South Dakota
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): Coyote
> State bird: Ring-necked pheasant
> State fish and aquatic life: Walleye

The coyote has been the official state animal of South Dakota since 1949. It is native to the Southwest United States but is found around the country and has even encroached into urban areas. The coyote is intelligent, fast, and a skilled hunter. Its howl, which is familiar to fans of Westerns who may never have heard one in the wild, is known as “the song of the west.”

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42. Tennessee
> State pet: Shelter pets
> State mammal(s): Raccoon, Tennessee walking horse
> State bird: Mockingbird, bobwhite quail
> State fish and aquatic life: Smallmouth bass, channel catfish

The Tennessee walker was the first breed of horse to bear a state name and has been the official state horse since 2000. As its name suggests, it’s known for its running walk, its flat foot walk, and its canter. The walker was developed by farmers in the Bluegrass region by combining thoroughbreds and other horses, including the Narragansett Pacer.

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43. Texas
> State pet: Blue Lacy
> State mammal(s): Mexican free-tailed bat, American quarter horse, longhorn
> State bird: Mockingbird
> State fish and aquatic life: Guadalupe bass, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, Texas Gulf shrimp

The Blue Lacy became the official state dog of Texas in 2005. It was developed in the 19th century by the Lacy brothers of Burnet County. They wanted a dog with great herding abilities and crossed greyhounds, scent hounds, and coyotes. The Blue Lacy is a hard worker and is the most common breed used by trappers. It’s also a great pet and is good with children.

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44. Utah
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): Rocky Mountain elk
> State bird: California gull
> State fish and aquatic life: Bonneville cutthroat trout

The Rocky Mountain elk has been the official state animal of Utah since 1971. Elk were once found across the country but now live only west of the Rockies. Bulls can weigh over 1,000 pounds and have antlers 6 feet wide. Bulls grow a new set of antlers every year. New antlers are covered in fuzzy skin called velvet. They harden over the summer and become solid bone.

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45. Vermont
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): Morgan horse and Randall Lineback Cattle
> State bird: Hermit thrush
> State fish and aquatic life: Walleye, Brook trout

In the early 1800s, Justin Morgan owned a bay colt named Figure that became famous for his ability to outrun and outwork other horses and for being ridden by President James Monroe in 1817. Figure sired a number of horses, named for their father’s owner, that inherited his outstanding qualities, thus founding a breed that has become popular all over the world. The Morgan horse became the official state animal of Vermont in 1961.