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Tennessee State Mammal

Tennessee’s official state mammal is the Tennessee walking horse, while the raccoon was designated the official wild animal.

Tennessee State Mammal

The raccoon is popularly associated with Davy Crockett, who probably rivals Andrew Jackson as the most famous Tennessean of all time. (Technically, Limestone, Greene County was part of North Carolina when Crockett was born there in 1786. Andrew Jackson was born in the Carolinas, too.)

Coonskin caps were originally worn by some American Indians as a traditional article of clothing. European pioneers who settled in the Eastern wilderness adopted the coonskin cap for their own, wearing it as a hunting cap. Ben Franklin even wore a coonskin cap as a patriotic symbol when he visited Paris.

Like the gray squirrel and black bear, the raccoon has a vast range, but it represents Tennessee alone.

The coonskin cap’s popularity saw a resurgence when actor Fess Parker began playing the role of Davy Crockett in films and TV series.

Raccoons probably weren’t crazy about Crockett or Parker. As many as one million coons were once killed in Tennessee annually, primarily for their fur.

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