Thursday, February 03, 2005

Senate passes bill naming gator state reptile

Link - Mississippi alligators soon might get the same recognition as the state insect and state fish.With no debate, the 52-member Senate passed Bill 2060 designating the alligator as the state reptile. There were only two dissenting votes to a bill that next moves to the House.
Making the alligator the state reptile would add it to a list of 20 state symbols that celebrate Mississippi's history, culture and wildlife. There's also an official state dance (square dance), a state beverage (milk), state waterfowl (the wood duck) and state fossil (prehistoric whale). The state flower and tree (magnolia) is perhaps the best known of the bunch.

Alligators inhabit most regions of Mississippi and supporters say they should gain the newest designation as state reptile.

Mississippi is home to about 38,000 alligators, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and the state has about 408,000 acres of alligator habitat.

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