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For example:

"The moose personifies Maine's wilderness."

I know personify isn't correct since it's not ascribing human form to the wilderness, but it does animate it and bring it to life in a way.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Perhaps embody is an alternative in this situation.

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That's the word I was looking for! Thanks =] – Hartley Brody Nov 16 '11 at 2:09

I don't know if there is a specific word that applies to animals, but epitomizes would work for just about anything, including an animal.

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