Special Report

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

Source: yellowstonegraphix / iStock

11. Hawaii
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): Hawaiian monk seal, humpback whale, Hawaiian hoary bat
> State bird: Nene (the Hawaiian goose)
> State fish and aquatic life: Humuhumunukunukuapua`a

The Hawaiian monk seal was designated an official state mammal in 2008. Most seals live in frigid waters, but the Hawaiian monk seal has adapted to the state’s warm tropical waters. It feeds on spiny lobsters, octopuses, and eels during the night and basks in the sun during the day. It faces a range of threats, including habitat loss and shark attacks. The morbillivirus has killed tens of thousands of seals in Europe, so the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched a vaccination program for the Hawaiian monk seal.

Source: Maren Winter / iStock

12. Idaho
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): Appaloosa horse
> State bird: Peregrine falcon and mountain bluebird
> State fish and aquatic life: Cutthroat trout

The Appaloosa has been the official state horse of Idaho since 1975, and it’s very popular there. Idaho boasts an Appaloosa Museum & Heritage Center, an Appaloosa Horse Club, which serves as an international breed registry, an Appaloosa Youth Association, and even a custom license plate that features the Appaloosa. It is one of the most recognizable horse breeds, with its colorful spotting pattern, mottled skin, and striped hooves.

Source: Courtesy of NOAA

13. Illinois
> State pet: Shelter dogs and cats
> State mammal(s): White-tailed deer
> State bird: Northern cardinal
> State fish and aquatic life: Bluegill

The bluegill has been the official state fish of Illinois since 1986. It is a member of the sunfish family and lives in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds all over the state. It plays an important role in habitat management as it is omnivorous and helps keep crustacean and insect populations under control. The bluegill can be kept as a pet, but it can grow to more than 10 inches in length and needs a large tank.

Source: mirceax / iStock

14. Indiana
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): N/A
> State bird: Cardinal
> State fish and aquatic life: N/A

Indiana is one of seven states to name the cardinal as its official state bird. Named made the northern , one of seven states to do so. Male cardinals are known for their brilliant red color. Cardinals breed two to three times a season, and their populations are healthy. The cardinal was officially adopted as the Indiana state bird in 1933.

Source: BrianLasenby / iStock

15. Iowa
> State pet: N/A
> State mammal(s): N/A
> State bird: Eastern goldfinch
> State fish and aquatic life: N/A

Found all over the state, the eastern goldfinch has been the official bird of Iowa since 1933. Adult males have bright yellow bodies and black wings, while females have more muted colors. They are active and acrobatic birds and often make a contact call while flying. This has been described as sounding like po-ta-to-chip!