Bullfrogs are one hop closer to becoming Missouri's state amphibian

April 13, 2005
By: Andrea Ramey
State Capital Bureau

Bullfrogs are one hop closer to becoming Missouri's state amphibian.

Andrea Ramey has more from the state Capitol...

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The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a bill that would make the bullfrog the state amphibian.

Kansas City Representative Susan Phillips sponsored the bill.

She said a group of Kansas City fourth graders presented her with the idea.

Actuality:Phil1
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Contents: "Every elementary school I go to, they know about it because it's been on TV. So now all the school kids are thinking 'well, we can do something.'"

Phillips has been keeping the class informed on the bill's progress.

One fourth grader even came and testified earlier this session.

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Contents: "We're just having fun with it."

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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Bullfrogs are one step closer to leaping into law as the state amphibian.

Andrea Ramey tells us why some people aren't happy about the choice.

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University of Missouri biology professor Ray Semlitsch says the bullfrog is a pest and it eats other amphibians.

Semlitsch says lawmakers should be more careful about what species they choose as the state's symbol for amphibians.

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Contents: "in other state where they have proposed amphibians, you know they might look at us and say these people are holding the bullfrog up as a sentinel speices, and it's really a pest. So they're not very informed."

Kansas City Representative Susan Phillips sponsored the bill and says she doesn't care about the arguments against her bill.

She says the mule is the state animal, and it's not the brightest thing on the block.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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The canabilistic bullfrog may leap into law as Missouri's state amphibian.

Andrea Ramey tells us why some people are not happy about the choice.

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(bullfrog nats)

Bullfrogs are North America's largest frog and are found all over the state of Missouri.

But the bullfrog is also a cannabilistic amphibian.

And some consider it to be a pest.

But one Missouri lawmaker doesn't care about that...

Republican Representative Susan Phillips of Kansas City sponsored the bill that would make the bullfrog the state amphibian.

Phillips said the genesis of the bill came from a group of fourth graders from Chinn Elementary School in Kansas City.

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Contents: "It's just been a wonderful experience for the kids, and like I say, every elementary school I go to, they know about it because it's been on TV. And so now all the kids are thinking, wow we can do something."

But Raymond Semlitsch, a biology professor at the University of Missouri, says lawmakers should be more careful about what species they choose as the state's symbol for amphibians.

Actuality:Sem5
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Contents: "...in other states where they have proposed amphibians, you know they might look at us and say these people are holding the bullfrog up as a sentinel species, and it's really a pest. So they're not very informed."

Representative Phillips says she doens't care if bullfrogs eat each other and says the argument against the bill is silly.

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Contents: "I'm stickin' with the bullfrog."

The bill passed out of the House and is waiting to be voted on in the Senate.

The bullfrog would join other species recognized by the state of Missouri.

The mule is the state animal, and the honeybee is the state insect.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.


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