I  know not every person is an animal lover, but I definitely am, and luckily there are so many to see in New Mexico. 

According to A-Z Animals, New Mexico is home to over 160 mammal species, over 100 reptile species, over 20 amphibian species, and over 500 bird species. That's quite a lot of animals, and I know for a fact that I will only ever see a fraction of them during my life.

Animals are one of my favorite things to learn about. My current search centered around animals led me to discover New Mexico has 8 official state animals.

Why do states have state animals?

Apparently, the first state symbol across America was the state flower. This trend began when a "National Garland of Flowers," was put together for the World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois in 1893, according to State Symbols USA. For this, each state contributed a flower that represented the state.

Thus the trend of state symbols began, later leading to various other unique state symbols that we see today -- such as state animal(s)

The 8 state animals of New Mexico

Not every state will have the same amount of state animals -- some will have more or less. In New Mexico's case, 8 animals have been selected to represent the state.

One we will talk about is the state mammal, the American black bear. The story of how New Mexico chose its state mammal is quite interesting.

We've all heard of Smokey Bear, but did you know he was a real bear injured in a New Mexico forest fire? While this bear was later used to promote fire prevention, he also led to the state mammal of New Mexico being chosen.


And of course, we can't forget to mention all of New Mexico's other state animals, so here is that list:

The 8 State Animals of New Mexico

Did you know that New Mexico has 8 state animals? Here is what they are:

Extremely Rare or Impossible to See Animals in Arizona

Arizona is home to a diverse range of wildlife. These animals are considered endangered, while some are believed to be extinct in the state.

Gallery Credit: Tim Gray

6 Famous Animal Buried in the Lone Star State

From pets to competitive animals, Texas has seen its share of famous animals. Check out 6 that were buried in the Lone Star State.

Gallery Credit: Maleri McHam

More From KLAQ El Paso