News & Politics

DC Spring Animal Sightings, Ranked From Worst to Wildest

Warm weather means foxes and turkeys and bears—oh, my!

Image via iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Wild animals—they’re just like us! Spring hits and they’re out on the town, basking in the sun, and crashing funeral processions at Arlington National Cemetery. But not all of these sightings are equal! So we ranked the animals and reptiles from worst to wildest (in a good way)! 

8. The Flamingo Killer Fox

RIP flamingos (and duck). Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Not much is known about the wild fox that broke into a flamingo habitat at the National Zoo and slaughtered 25 pink birds and an unfortunate duck. But we’re pretty sure the fox was from Florida. And maybe on bath salts. Slaughtering flamingos and an avian bystander is giving us big Florida-y, bath salty vibes. 

7. Straggler Cicadas 

Photo via iStock/pixelpup

Thought you’d heard the last of Brood X, the hellaciously loud cicadas that appear every 17-odd years? They’re baaaack. Kind of. Apparently there are a few stragglers—literally called “straggler cicadas”—which are emerging now. Who’s tardy to a cicada party that’s been fixed on the calendar for nearly two decades?! Buzz kill!

6. The Aggressor of Assateague 

An aggressive stallion was exiled from Assateague Island after biting and threatening visitors. No surprise, he’s goes by the nickname “Chip.” Chip is what’s known as an “Assateague-hole.” Don’t be like Chip.

5. The Ferocious Capitol Fox

Unlike the zoo fox that terrorized innocent birds, the rabid Capitol Hill fox struck fear into the heart of lawmakers and even bit one congressman. We’re pretty sure this fox was from New Hampshire (biting congresspeople seems like a “Live Free or Die State” thing to do). Sadly, the fox and its kits were euthanized

4. Georgetown’s Black Snake 

The only critters commonly spotted in Georgetown are on pastel pants. This massive black snake? A refreshing change of scene. 

3. The Tenacious Turkey of the Trails 

Sure, a biker getting attacked by a living Thanksgiving centerpiece is terrifying. But as one newscaster noted: “This is good stuff.” As are the “running a-fowl” puns. Peck on, dear turkey, peck on. 

2. Taps Turkey 

Most wild turkeys are Chip-level Assateague-holes. But there’s a rather pleasant hen hanging around Arlington National Cemetery, “following funeral processions, paying respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and generally lounging in the sun,” according to an Instagram post from the cemetery.  A good case for turkeys, and also reincarnation. 

1. The Beltway Bear 

By far the best animal sighting of late is a fuzzy black bear caught stealing birdseed in Silver Spring. A bear expert told the Washington Post that young bears like to spread out and find their own territory come spring, like “teenagers trying to find their way.” Awww. It gets better, teen bear, we promise. Just lay off the seed. 

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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