Why Isn’t The Jackalope An Official Wyoming Creature?
Each state has its official state bird, fish, other animals of various kinds, flower, and so on.
Can you name the official Wyoming list of wildlife and vegetation?
The below items were voted to be the official - whatever - of Wyoming because the Wyoming house and senate had time to waste.
Why didn't the Wyoming legislators vote for the Jackalope as an official state animal? I have that answer below.
First, let's look at the official list.
The official state bird of Wyoming: Meadowlark
Meadowlarks. There are several kinds of Meadowlarks. The Eastern and Western meadowlarks recognized by the state of Wyoming look very much alike. But they don't sound alike. Listen to the songs they sing and you'll hear the difference.
The official state mammal of Wyoming: Bison
No shock here. But what might be surprising is that this has only been the case since 1985. Even though the bison has been on the flag since 1916 the Wyoming Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) ran a contest inviting the public to submit possible designs for a Wyoming flag. A prize of $20 was offered. Verna Keays, a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago won the prize. On January 31, 1917, Governor Robert D. Carey signed the state flag bill into law and the bison flag was officially adopted.
The official state fish of Wyoming: Cutthroat Trout.
The state named this fish "official" back in 1987. The cutthroat trout is native. Can survive in extremely cold temperatures in the winter and returns to streams to spawn.
The official state reptile of Wyoming: Horned Toad.
Not HORNY TOAD. Many people like to say it that way. "Horned Toad." This is Wyoming's official reptile is actually a strange, short-tailed lizard from the iguana family. It's not really a toad. It has horns on its head, hence the horned name.
The official amphibian of Wyoming: Blotched Tiger Salamander.
The blotched tiger salamander? Never heard of it. It is one of North America’s largest salamanders. It was named the state amphibian of Wyoming in 2019 when state legislators got really bored. These things like cellars, burrows of rodents, and love to rest under manure heaps. Well, that just sounds, yucky. Why did they feel the need to name this a Wyoming official - something? The tiger salamander is often about 8.7 inches but can grow up to 12 inches.
OKAY, So What About the Jackalope?
Some years ago I was sitting up in the gallery of the Wyoming Senate, just watching what was going on, when a bill was introduced to make the Jackalope Wyoming's official "mythical" creature.
I was SHOCKED!
Quickly I wrote a note and scurried over to someone who could deliver it to one of the state senators I knew on the floor.
"ARE YOU NUTS?" I wrote. "If we declare it an official "mythical creature" then people will know for sure that it is a MYTH!
I'm not sure if it was my note that did the trick, but the bill was killed moments later.