Explore Washington D.C.

On Safari: Top 20 Animal Sightings in D.C.

From a statue of FDR's dog to fossils of T. rex, where to find animals, live or depicted, in the nation's capital

There's plenty to see around the nation's capital city—from emotional war memorials to awe-inspiring presidential monuments. But did you know about the wildlife? Well, maybe it isn't all living, but the city is simply teeming with animals, living and otherwise.

1. Rearing up at the G Street entrance to the American Art Museum, Luis Jimenez’s “Vaquero,” his Wild West response to all those bronze Union officers on horseback

2. Butterworts, sundews and flytraps (oh my!) in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s carnivorous plant collection

3. The ultimate wall trophy at the Renwick Gallery—“Game Fish,” assembled by Larry Fuente out of poker chips, ping pong balls, chess pieces, toy figures, coins and rhinestones

4. Chinese artist Xu Bing’s installations at the Sackler Gallery—memorabilia from his Phoenix Project and the word “monkey” in 12 languages suspended in the stairwell

5. The Natural History Museum’s up close-and-personal Butterfly Pavilion with more than 400 “imagos” fluttering around visitors in 80 percent humidity ($6, children $5, Tuesdays free)

6. Twilight Polo, the royal game-turned-American picnic, celebrates its summer finale on Sept. 7 in The Plains, Va. ($30 per car; greatmeadowpoloclub.com)

7. Fala, perhaps the only presidential pet memorialized by a statue, sitting beside his master at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

8. The good luck hippo, his snout rubbed by GWU students, at 21st and H streets NW

9. The Peacock Room where the gilded birds “preen” every third Thursday as docents open the shades, in the Freer Gallery, Charles Freer’s gift to the National Mall

10. A solar-powered carousel at the National Zoo with 162 solar panels and 58 hand-carved and painted mountable animals, each representing an endangered species

11. Hounds enjoying “yappy” hours at Alexandria’s Jackson 20 (Tuesdays and Thursdays through October from 5 to 8 pm) plus the Pooch Patio menu (beef tips and “Bowser beer”) at D.C.’s Art and Soul restaurant on Capitol Hill

12. Four-legged passengers lining up for Potomac Riverboat Company’s Canine Cruise of the Alexandria harbor (Sept. 14 and 29, Oct. 26, bipeds $15, dogs free) 

13. Sea turtles, sharks and angel fish, all “residents” of the National Aquarium until Sept. 30, when the facility closed its doors for good

14. Barry Flanagan’s rabbit à la Rodin (“Thinker on a Rock”) pondering the state of the union at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden

15. Screech, the MLB Nationals eagle mascot, squawking for the team at every home game in the 41,222-seat ballpark

16. A 1921 Dentzel carousel with hand-carved figures, colorfully restored and taking on riders ($1.50, Wed-Sun) at Maryland’s Glen Echo Park (glenechopark.org) 

17. Four lions, guarding the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (steps from the Judiciary Square Metro north entrance), carved by Ray Kaskey, who also sculpted eagles 
and wreaths at the WWII Memorial

18. Gilded winged stallions at each end of the Memorial Bridge, looking north to Lincoln (his memorial) and south to Robert E. Lee (Arlington House)

19. Fossils unearthed by Natural History Museum paleontologists in the FossiLab daily, where a nearly complete (80-85 percent) T. rex skeleton debuts in the spring of 2014

20. The International Spy Museum’s Pigeon Room profiling winged espionage “agents” who took photos from above during both world wars with cameras strapped to their chests