The world’s biggest land animal has a name, but its real-life counterpart has a history that stretches back a long way.
A century ago, a group of Native American people in North Dakota named the red banana sapling an “elephant” after a white man’s attempt to breed the animal.
Now, the name is a controversial one.
A growing number of Americans have taken to calling the red bananas a “snake” and a “turtle.”
In 2017, the National Park Service decided to rename the saplings a “wetland wildlife refuge.”
It said the names were appropriate to commemorate the iconic animals’ habitats and their natural habitats.
It said there was no official policy on the matter.
In the end, the names of the animals have become part of a broader controversy over where the word “elephants” comes from and where it should go.
A group of native Americans named the sapling after a man named Samuel Brown who tried to breed an elephant.
The group eventually settled on the name red banana.
A year after Brown died, he was shot and killed by a white militia member who said he was hunting a white “elefante.”
The group settled on red bananas as the symbol of the area, a term the National Parks Service eventually agreed to abandon.
In 2018, the NPS moved the red fruit and sapling from a protected area to a national park, with the red tree in the foreground.
The new name is part of an effort to preserve the trees and the native animals that live in them, said Robert J. Ritter, senior deputy superintendent for the U.S. Forest Service.
“We have a history of naming species after iconic people and places and these things are not going away,” he said.