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White-tailed Deer

South Carolina State Animal

White-tailed deer buck; photo by Joe Kosack / PGC Photo Gallery: White-tailed deer (noncommercial and educational use permitted with attribution).

White-tailed Deer

South Carolina designated the white-tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus) as the official state animal in 1972. An animal of incredible beauty and power, white-tailed deer are able to run up to 40 miles per hour, jump 9 foot fences, and swim 13 miles per hour.

The white underside of the deer's tail waves when running and is flashed as a warning when danger is sensed. Both native Americans and settlers relied on the white-tailed deer for buckskin and food.

Eleven states have designated the white-tailed deer as a state symbol: Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.