Outdoor Life Online Editor

The wily and elusive jackalope may soon join an esteemed list of protected animals in Wyoming. The bison and cutthroat trout are official symbols of the state, and also named on the Endangered Species list. Yet, if the state congress has its way, the jackalope will be listed as the state’s official mythical creature. Wyoming’s House of Representatives approved the measure 45-12. Now the legislation heads to the senate.

The jackalope, part jack rabbit, part antelope, was first created by Doug Herrick in 1939 based on stories told by his grandfather. Since then, Herrick’s hometown of Douglas, Wyo., has built an industry around the fame of the animal. Douglas holds an annual festival honoring the creature, and Herrick’s nephew still produces 2,500 mounted jackalopes a year.

Authorities in the town receive roughly five requests a week for jackalope hunting licenses.