Bison could become national mammal of the United States

- The Bison one step closer to becoming the national mammal of the United States.

After more than 200 years, the bald eagle might share its title as the symbolic animal of the United States.

The Senate gave final approval to the bill on Thursday, two days after the House approved it. It now goes to the president's desk.

Lawmakers called the bison — North America's largest land animal — the embodiment of American strength and resilience and said it reflects the nation's pioneer spirit.

The push to give bison special recognition began about five years ago.

Although this doesn’t bring any additional protections for the bison, it is said to be a "milestone in a long journey."

Bison became nearly extinct in the 1800s after hunting, slaughter and disease. An estimated 500,000 bison currently exist across the 50 states.

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