Pets & Animals

Move over, bald eagle! America's got a new national symbol (nearly)

Move over, bald eagle. You're about to have some large company when it comes to being a symbol of America.

In the rare instance where congressional Republicans and Democrats agree, the bald eagle's 234-year run as the only animal officially symbolizing this country looks to be coming to an end. On Thursday, the Senate moved to concur The National Bison Legacy Act, designating the bison as America's national mammal and a "historical symbol of the United States."

The Senate's action followed the House of Representatives approving the measure on Tuesday night, and the bill now awaits President Obama's signature.

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"No other indigenous species tells America's story better than this noble creature," Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay said in a statement. "The American bison is an enduring symbol of strength, native American culture and the boundless Western wildness."

Matthew Brown / AP
A bill that will designate the bison as America's national mammal awaits the president's signature.

"What a great milestone for an animal that has played a central role in America's history and culture, that helped shape the Great Plains and the lifestyle of Native Americans, and that, today, lives in all 50 states,'' the Wildlife Conservation Society wrote on its website.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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