A state symbol can come in the form of state animals, mammals, a state bird and flower, amphibians, nicknames, songs, state seals, and much more.

State symbols were adopted by states to best represent them and their historical roots, their geological makeup, their past and present successes, and the ecosystem and habitats that make up the state. Like all other states, there are many California state symbols that have been adopted over the years.

What is the California State Animal?

California’s state animal is the California Grizzly Bear (Ursus californicus). It was 30 years after the last Grizzly was killed when California adopted the California Grizzly Bear as the official state animal in 1953. The famous bear has been used for years to represent the state via the state animal, flag, and even state seal. Before the mass elimination of Grizzly Bears in California, this amazing animal would be seen around the state in abundance around the valleys and low mountains.

California state animal

Unfortunately, as the settlers began coming into the state and made it their home, the Grizzly Bears refused to move and relocate, and after they began to terrorize local settlements and kill livestock, the people of the state decided to exterminate them. Just 75 years after the discovery of gold, every single Grizzly Bear in the Golden State was tracked down and killed.

“The last one was killed in Tulare County in 1922, more than 20 years before the authority to regulate the taking of fish and wildlife was delegated to the California Fish and Game Commission by the State Legislature.” – a quote from the California Library. Since 1975, around the world, Grizzly Bears have been listed as threatened with extinction. In addition to the state animal, California also has a state insect.

Most states will have their symbols showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its history, and the Golden State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in its state animal. These interesting facts about California and a whole host of others are what makes the state so unique and fascinating to those that live there or are researching the historical events of the state.