Bison Named National Mammal
Nothing says, or represents, Montana like the bison. The Lakota called them "Tatanka" and at one time millions of them roamed Montana and North America. Sadly, after being hunted to near extinction, only a few hundred bison remained.
Slowly, over the past 150 years, the bison has slowly been making a comeback, although nothing near their earlier numbers. Today there are estimated to be 500,000 of these majestic animals.
This week, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law, officially making the American bison the national mammal of the United States. The bison will now join the ranks of the Bald Eagle as the official symbol of our country.
Bison are the largest mammal in North America. Male bison (called bulls) weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall, while females (called cows) weigh up to 1,000 pounds and reach a height of 4-5 feet. Bison calves weigh 30-70 pounds at birth.