California Grizzly Bear
The California grizzly bear (Ursus californicus) was designated as the official state animal of California in 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). The California grizzly bear is also honored on the California state flag.
As humans began to pour into California, the grizzly would not retreat from advancing civilization. Standing their ground, grizzly bears killed livestock and interfered with settlements. 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 1922, more than 20 years before the authority to regulate the taking of fish and wildlife was delegated to the California Fish and Game Commission by the State Legislature." (Quote from California State Library).
Today's Grizzly Bears
Today's grizzly bears (Ursus arctos ssp.) have a protection status of threatened.