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North Dakota State Mammal

One has to wonder if the horse on North Dakota’s state seal could be a Nokota horse, North Dakota’s state horse. (Actually, it’s called the official honorary state equine.)

North Dakota State Mammal
North Dakota State Quarter

The Nokota Horse Conservancy believes that Nokota horses are descended from horses owned by the great Lakota warrior Sitting Bull. Nokota war ponies may have helped Indian freedom fighters destroy George Armstrong Custer’s soldiers at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Perhaps Sitting Bull’s favorite horse, Fear His Shadow, was there.

The U.S. government slaughtered Indian ponies as a strategy for subduing Native Americans. This policy was even continued by the National Park Service, targeting Nokota horses surviving in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Fortunately, two ranchers, Frank and Leo Kunz, came to the Nokota horse’s rescue.

Richardson’s ground squirrelRichardson’s ground squirrel is the source of the nickname Flickertail State, though a bison graces the North Dakota commemorative quarter.