A state symbol can come in the form of state animals, mammals, a state bird and flower, amphibians, nicknames, state seals, and much more.
State symbols were adopted by states to represent best them and their historical roots, geological makeup, past and present successes, and the ecosystem and habitats that make up the state.
Like all other states, there are many Delaware state symbols.
What is Delaware’s State Animal?
The grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is the official Delaware state animal and has been since 2010. Grey foxes are used to pay homage to Delaware’s famous wildlife heritage and also the state’s efforts in environmental protection and species preservation over the years.
The Delaware state animal, the grey fox, was a suggestion by the fourth-grade students at Joseph M. McVey Elementary School in Newark, DE as part of a teacher named Paul Sedacca’s persuasive writing lesson.
Native to Delaware, this beautiful animal is estimated to have been around for 10 million years or more! The grey fox also has a unique ability to be able to climb trees and run as fast as 28 miles per hour!
Gray foxes can be easily identified through the color of their coat, which is silver-gray on their back and face, red legs and chest, a white throat, belly, and inside of their legs. They have a bushy tail with a distinctive black tip and stripe along the top.
Here are some additional facts and information about the gray fox:
- They are the only member of the dog family that can climb trees.
- They typically reside in rocky canyons and ridges, but they also like wooded areas, grasslands, and even open deserts.
- They can be found from southern Canada all the way through most of the U.S. into Mexico, Central America, and some parts of South America.
- The Gray Fox is living well in the wild and is not endangered or near extinction.
- They are omnivores, eating a variety of different foods, from small mammals, eggs, and amphibians, to nuts, berries, insects, and even birds.
- They hunt many different animals and insects, however, they are the prey to cougars, eagles, owls, hawks, coyotes, and bobcats. Humans also kill them for their fur.
- Their home is called a “den”.
- Gray Foxes typically live between 7 to 10 years and some can live much longer.
- They weigh around 5 pounds and stand at 15 inches tall.
- Females give birth to between 3 and 7 pups.
- They tend to bury food in certain spots and come back for it later when they run out.
Most states will have their symbols showcase a relevant story, that is indicative of the state and its history, and The First State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in its state animal.
These interesting facts about Delaware and a whole host of others are what make the state so unique and fascinating to those that live there or are researching the historical events of the state.