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Why is Wisconsin the Badger State — and do actual badgers live here?

Noted: University of Wisconsin Chancellor John Lathrop created a state seal that was so hated that no record of it exists. It was then that Gov. Nelson Dewey and Chief Justice E.G. Ryan redesigned it to feature badgers — of both the four-legged and miner variety. This design stuck.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison began using the badger as its mascot in 1889 when intercollegiate football began, after the state’s nickname. The university used to keep a live animal before it was deemed too dangerous.