What Is the State Animal of Minnesota? Minnesota is fairly unique among the 50 United States in that it does not have an official state animal, whether land or marine based. While some coastal states have an official marine animal but no land animal and some have both few states have neither.
There has been much debate over what Minnesota’s state animal should be, but there just isn’t a clear answer. Most proposals have centered on the white-tailed deer or the timber wolf, both of which are native to the Minnesota forests and are familiar to most residents.
There also is no official state nickname, though an unofficial one is “The Gopher State,” leading some people to believe, though mistakenly, that the gopher is the state animal. Minnesota does have a state bird, insect, and fish however.
Understanding State Animals Generally
Sometimes states will declare an animal or other natural object as the state animal. The designation is usually based more on tradition than anything else and it doesn’t typically provide special privileges or protections for that creature. It can vary depending on where the state currently is, however.
As of yet, there have been no successful attempts to have the state of Minnesota pick its official animal. It’s possible that indecision contributed to the inability for voters to support a specific animal. Minnesota is home to many animals, and often public support can be divided among them. In busy legislative sessions, it can also be difficult to get lawmakers on board with certain bills.
Fortunately, though, one way or another they do approve a number of titles that may seem relevant or pressing. And among those are potential titles like the white-tailed deer – not only because it’s native to the whole state but because hunters enjoy hunting the deer as well.
A timber wolf is another commonly suggested option. This wolf is also sometimes known as the grey wolf, which is a threatened species in the United States. Its numbers are dwindling due to human expansion and building projects in areas that once were untouched woodlands. Minnesota is one of the few U.S. states where this wolf still has active population groups.
Minnesota has several unofficial nicknames that have led to a number of mistaken monikers. One of the best known is “The Gopher State,” which most people believe stems from a political cartoon depicting gophers in the 1800s. In actuality, the nickname came about because of a political cartoon, and it was intended as a jab at Co-Operative Party.
The Gopher State lasted long after the Beaver State nickname was coined by politicians in the early 20th century, but then again Minnesota is home to over 10 million beavers. For those looking for more official animal names, Minnesota also has other legendary creatures like (The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes), (Star of the North), and others with their own unique nicknames.
Continued Legislative Efforts and Informal Polls
For many years, the state of Minnesota has attempted to hold a poll to determine what they want their state animal and other associated symbols to be. Citizens participate in large numbers, but still no legislation has ever passed as a result.
Over the years, there have been a number of attempts to hold polls and contests asking what citizens thought the state animal of Minnesota, as well as several other symbols, should be. Citizens typically take part in high numbers and they tend to come up with firm answers. Still, no laws have ever passed based on these results.
Birds, Insects, and Fish
It can be difficult to wait patiently for the government to name your state’s official mammal or animal. Thankfully, there are a few options in related categories. For example, the state bird is the common loon, which inhabits lakes and waterways of Minnesota. The Monarch butterfly is also named as an official insect, and the walleye is named as the state fish.
If you’re tired of waiting for a Minnesota state animal or mammal to be named, there are some animals that are still in the running. For example, the official state bird is the common loon and they can be found in several lakes around the state in addition to many rivers and streams. The Great Minneapolis Park System has named an official insect, which is Monarch butterfly, and an official fish, which is walleye perch.