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California State Animal

California Grizzly Bear

State Symbols: California State Animal: California Grizzly Bear

(Ursus californicus)

Adopted on June 14, 1953

The California grizzly bear, (Ursus californicus,) was designated official State Animal of California in 1953 when Governor Earl Warren signed the legislation proposed in Assembly Bill No. 1014 on June 14, 1953. (more than 30 years after the last one was killed). Before the grizzly bear was exterminated in California, this magnificent animal thrived in the great valleys and low mountains of the state (probably in greater numbers than anywhere else in North America).

California State Animal: California Grizzly Bear

State Symbols: California State Animal: California Grizzly Bear

Before dying out in California, the grizzly was the largest and most powerful of the carnivores that thrived in the great valleys and low mountains of the state, probably in greater numbers than anywhere else in the United States. As humans began to populate California, the grizzly stood its ground, refusing to retreat in the face of advancing civilization. It killed livestock and interfered with settlers. Less than 75 years after the discovery of gold, every grizzly bear in California had been tracked down and killed. The last one was killed in Tulare County in August 1922, more than 20 years before the authority to regulate the take of fish and wildlife was delegated to the California Fish and Game Commission by the State.

Grizzly Bears are large brown bears that live in cool mountain forests and river valleys. These solitary mammals can run up to 35 mph (56 kph) for short bursts. Grizzlies are a threatened species

The brown bear's distinctive features include humped shoulders, a long snout, long curved claws and a grayish, silvery back. They can weigh anywhere from 350 to 800 pounds and reach a shoulder height of 4.5 feet when on all fours (a male Kodiak bear can reach up to 1,400 pounds). Standing on its hind legs, a brown bear can reach up to 8 feet.

Brown bears can be found in coastal regions, while grizzlies prefer rugged mountains and forests undisturbed by human encroachment.

Some of a brown bear's favorite foods include nuts, berries, insects, salmon, carrion and small mammals. The diet of a brown bear varies depending on the season and habitat. Brown bears in the coastal areas of Alaska eat primarily salmon, which contributes to their larger sizes. Grizzlies in high mountain areas eat mostly berries and insects.

Bears hibernate during the winter, usually digging their own dens with their claws. They will often choose the side of a slope where snow collects, providing good insulation. Brown bears need to eat a lot in the summer in order to survive through a winter of hibernation. The brown bear defends its breeding territory, and mothers fiercely guard their cubs.

California Assembly Bill

Assembly Bill No. 1014

CHAPTER 1140

An act to amend Sections 420 and 422 of, and to add Section 425 to, the Government Code, relating to the State Emblems.

[Approved by Governor June 14, 1953. Filed with Secretary of State June 15, 1953.]

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

Section 1. Section 420 of the Government Code is amended to read:

420. The Bear Flag is the State Flag of California. As viewed with the hoist end of the flag to the left of the observer there appears in the upper left-hand corner of a white field a five-pointed red star with one point vertically upward and in the middle of the white field a brown grizzly bear walking toward the left with all four paws on a green grass plot, with head and eye turned slightly toward the observer; a red stripe forms the length of the flag at the bottom, and between the grass plot and red stripe appear the words CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC.

Dimensions, excluding heading and unfinished flag ends: The hoist or flag width is two-thirds of the fly or flag length; the red stripe width is one-sixth of the hoist width. The state official flag hoist widths shall be two, three, four, five, six, and eight feet. The diameter of an imaginary circle passing through the points of the star is one-tenth of the fly length; the distance of the star center from the hoist end is one-sixth of the fly length and the distance from the star center to the top of the flag is four-fifths of the star-center distance from the hoist end. The length of the bear diagonally from the nose tip to the rear of right hind paw is two-thirds of the hoist width; the height of the bear from shoulder tip vertically to a line touching the bottoms of the front paws is one-half the length of the bear; the location of the bear in the white field is such that the center of the eye is midway between the top and bottom of the white field and the midpoint of the bear's length is midway between the fly ends. The grass plot in length is eleven-twelfths of the hoist width and the plot ends are equidistant from the fly ends; the average width of the plot between the rear of the left front paw and the front of the right rear paw is one-tenth of the grass plot length. The height of the condensed gothic letters, as shown on the representation, is one-half of the red stripe width and they occupy a lineal space of two-thirds of the fly length with the beginning and ending letters of the words equidistant from the fly ends.

Colors: The following color references are those of the Textile Color Card Association of the United States, Inc., New York; the colors on the flag are to be substantially the same as these color references. White--of the white field, front of bear's eye, and on the bear's claws is White, cable number 70001. Red--of the red stripe, the star, and the bear's tongue is Old Glory, cable number 70180. Green--of the grass plot is Irish Green, cable number 70168. Brown--of the bear is Maple Sugar, cable number 70129. Dark brown--of the bear outline, paws, shading, fur undulations, iris of the eye, the 12 grass tufts in the grass plot, and the letters is Seal, cable number 70108.

The general design and the details of the Bear Flag, excluding colors, shall correspond substantially with the following representation:

Bear Flag

This shall be the official State Flag of all state, county, city and town agencies. The flags now issued or in use shall continue in service until replacement is required.

Sec. 2 Section 422 of the Government Code is amended to read:

422. The California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens, Sequoia gigantia) is the official state tree.

Sec. 3 Section 425 is added to said code, to read:

425. The state animal is the California Grizzly Bear (Ursus Californicus) as depicted in outline, details, and in colors on the official representation in the custody of the Secretary of State. The color references of the bear shall be in accordance with those set forth in Section 420.

All state representations of the state animal in details and in colors shall be in accordance with this section and shall correspond substantially with the following representation thereof:
State Symbols: California Grizzly Sketch

California Law

The law designating the California Grizzly Bear as the official California state animal is found in the California Government Code, Title 1, Division 2, Chapter 2, Section 425.

California Government Code, Title 1, Division 2, Chapter 2.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE
TITLE 1. GENERAL
DIVISION 2. STATE SEAL, FLAG, AND EMBLEMS
CHAPTER 2. STATE FLAG AND EMBLEMS
SECTION 420-429.8

425. The state animal is the California Grizzly Bear (Ursus Californicus) as depicted in outline, details, and in colors on the official representation in the custody of the Secretary of State. The color references of the bear shall be in accordance with those set forth in Section 420.

All state representations of the state animal in details and in colors shall be in accordance with this section and shall correspond substantially with the following representation thereof:
State Symbols: California Grizzly Sketch

Taxonomic Hierarchy: California Grizzly Bear

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. arctos
    Subspecies: U. arctos californicus

State Mammals
State Mammals & Animals
Mammals are vertebrates (backboned animals) that feed their young on mother's milk.
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