Wisconsin State Animal: Badger (Taxidea taxus)


Wisconsin State Animal is the Badger.

Wisconsin State Animal - The badger was designated the official state animal of Wisconsin in 1957.

Although the badger has been closely associated with Wisconsin since territorial days, it was not declared the official state animal until 1957. Over the years, its likeness had been incorporated in the state coat of arms, the seal, the flag, and even State Capitol architecture, as well as being immortalized in the song, "On, Wisconsin!" ("Grand old badger state!"), and as the mascot ("Bucky Badger") for the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1957, a bill to establish the badger as the state animal was introduced at the request of four Jefferson County elementary school students who discovered from a historical society publication that the badger had not been given the official status most people assumed. However, serious opposition developed when a faction from Wisconsin's northern counties introduced a bill to make the white-tailed deer the official animal. The legislature reached a compromise by adding two official animals. In Chapter 209, Laws of 1957, it named the badger the "state animal", and Chapter 147 designated the white-tailed deer as the state "wildlife animal".


You can't buy a badger but you can buy Wisconsin Badger Apparel (Click on image below)



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Tidbits



Bronze badger statue in front of entrance to Camp Randall Stadium.

Bronze badger statue in front of entrance to Camp Randall Stadium.

Above: Bronze badger statue in front of entrance to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.



Above: Original "On, Wisconsin!" Badger Fight song written in 1909 that, with modified lyrics, later became the official state song of Wisconsin.

Original fight song lyrics:

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field,
A touchdown sure this time.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame
Fight! Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win this game.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
"Forward" is our driving spirit,
Loyal voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise her glowing flame
Stand, Fellows, let us now
Salute her name!



Another Badger Song


In 1919, while planning an alumni dinner, Professor Julian Olson wrote the words to what was then called "The Badger Ballad" and had the words set to music by Charles Mills, then Director of the School of Music.

"If you want to be a Badger" lyrics:

If you want to be a Badger,
Just come along with me,
By the bright shining light,
By the light of the moon;
If you want to be a Badger,
Just come along with me,
By the bright shining light of the moon.

By the light of the moon,
By the light of the moon,
By the bright shining light,
By the light of the moon.
If you want to be a Badger,
Just come along with me,
By the light of the moon.


Above: Badger sounds.


Bucky badger statue in Metcalfe's Market in Madison, Wisconsin.

Bucky badger statue at Hilldale in Madison, Wisconsin.

Above: Bucky Badger statues decorated by various artists are scattered thoughout Madison in the Spring/Summer 2018.



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