House Votes to Designate Bison as America’s National Mammal

A lone bison is blanketed by snow as the animal stands at the buffalo overlook along Interstate 70 as a severe spring storm packing high winds and heavy, wet snow sweeps over the intermountain West Saturday, April 16, 2016, near Evergreen, Colo. While the storm is starting later than predicted, forecasters are expecting driving snow to pummel the region Saturday night into Sunday, which has forced the cancellation of hundreds flights out of Denver's airport. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP)–Make room, bald eagle. The House has voted to designate the bison the national mammal of the United States.

The move seeks to elevate the bison’s stature to that of the bald eagle, long the nation’s official bird. There has not been an official mammal of the United States.

Prior to approving the measure by voice vote Tuesday, House members spoke of the significance to the nation’s history of the bison, also known as buffalo. The animals were central to many Native American cultures and were on the verge of extinction before revival efforts established herds on national refuges and parks.

The measure passed by the House must go to the Senate for final passage, expected later this week, before it can go to the president’s desk.

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