Most countries have their own national animal to serve as a symbol, not a mascot. How many national animals do you know?
Here are some countries and their national beasts.
USA – The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
This majestic bird is one of the most legendary creatures to ever soar the sky. The bald eagle has been a symbol for their Government power since the roman times. The final part of the USA’s national anthem says, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” the bald eagle T signifies authority, bravery and freedom for the nation.
Canada – Beaver (Castor canadensis)
This noble creature had contributed so much to the lives of Canadians and the early people during the ancient times especially the global fur trade in the early 17th century. The beaver signifies Canada’s control for their own country and their resiliency. The beaver was announced the official symbol of Canada on March 24, 1975 as fulfillment for the “act to provide for the recognition of the beaver (castor canadensis) as a symbol of the Sovereignty of Canada.”
Philippines – Carabao (Bubalus bubalis carabanesis)
The Filipino’s are recognized for their tenacity and passion for working hard. The Philippines is one of the leading countries in rice production. In the early days, actually even these days, Carabao helps farmers plow the rice fields all day long. The carabao is selected as the country’s national animal because of its physical strength to work despite the harming factors. The Carabao or kalabaw, symbolizes the Filipino’s endurance and hard work.
Greece – Phoenix
The Phoenix is a mythological bird with blazing wings and feathers like the sun. Greece has a very rich and noble history of territorial battles, rulers and conquerors. The phoenix is believed to have the ability to resurrect from its own ashes.
India – Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
India has different national animals according to category, national reptile; king cobra, national bird; Indian peafowl, national aquatic animal; ganges river dolphin, national heritage animal; Indian Elephant. The great tiger is chosen to signifiy India’s grace, strength, agility and power.
You guys know Richard Parker? The bengal tiger from the movie Life of Pi who showed great courage in the face of life’s biggest danger and learned to live with other creatures.
North Korea – Chollima
This mythical flying horse is impossible to tame according to legend which probably makes it suitable to the strict, headstrong and untamable nation of North Korea. The North Koreans also believe that the Cholima can travel hundreds of miles in one day with its swift speed. The chollima amplifies North Korea’s fast development and progress.
Panama – Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)
On April 10th, 2002, the Harpy Eagle was declared as Panama’s national bird according to the Law No. 18. Harpy is a mythological creature of a woman’s face with a vulture’s body. The harpy eagle is one of the largest and most ferocious eagles in the world. The traits of the Panamanians are somehow different from the harpy eagle, one thing they do share is their courage to survive.
Scotland – Unicorn
This mythical majestic horse is a dream pet of millions of little girls, even boys. Scotland has a rich history and heritage which they preserve the best way they can. Their love for their country also knows no bound. The unicorn and the lion are both heraldic supporters in the royal coat of arms of United Kingdom. This emphasizes the unity between England and Scotland. Scotland’s unicorn is said to be chained because once the chain comes off, the creature goes berserk.
China – Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Probably the most adorable national animal ever. Giant Pandas are considered as National Treasures for the great nation of China. These lovable creatures can only be found in China. China’s original national animal for millenias is the strong and noble Dragon. During the ancient days of China, the panda was believed to possess healing powers, they also symbolize peace. The color of black and white that appears in the image of the famous yin and yang philosophy is also the color of the panda. Coincidence?
Russia – Bear (Ursidae)
There is an assumption that Russia is “big, brutal and clumsy,” just like a bear. Russia is considered as one of the most powerful countries in the world especially during the early days. The image of the russian bear has been used in various occasions and events about Russia’s history.
Each country mostly chooses their national animal to mirror their traits or preserve their rich culture. National animals doesn’t have to be strong, fierce, with wings or with fangs, all nations have a deep reason about how they chose their national animal to represent their country.
Hope you guys find this article fun and informative. Don’t forget to leave your comments below.