City Desk

What Should D.C.’s Animal Be?


The Cleveland Park email list is hosting a contest to pick D.C.'s "state" animal. While we have a state bird—the woodthrush—there's no animal representing our fair district. The contest—which is open to members of the list— has only one rule: "The animal you choose to represent DC has to live somewhere in the District, the Zoo included."

Which is kind of a cop out, right? We know D.C. has lots of transient residents, but giving representative status to animals that could never survive in the city without the assistance of a flock of federal zookeepers is ridiculous. (Actually, this is kind of metaphorical, isn't it?)

Anyway! D.C. has lots of animals that get along just fine without government subsidies: Foxes, squirrels, opossums, white-tail deer, alley cats, alley rats. What would you pick for D.C.'s state animal?

Photo by Mr. T in D.C. via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

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  • PTRQ

    I'd definitely pick the Black squirrel - a small population released from the zoo in the early 20th century took over the squirrel population and now are something like a quarter of our squirrels. A species that started as a transient outsider, but took hold and made DC home.

  • cary


  • TvesBrink

    The obvious choice is a panda. The suburban choice is a freshly ran over deer creating traffic on a two lane back road during the morning rush. The best city choice is the resilient alley cat whose continued existence defies logic but is nonetheless inspiring to all.

  • Tom M.

    Rat posed in front of the Wilson Building. So appropriate.

  • Keith B.

    Birds ARE animals this is DISCRIMINATION

    but I'd vote for presa canario dog

  • Keith B.

    does the after school crowd at Gallery Place count as animals?

  • Shani Hilton

    @Keith B. Come on, I don't have to tell you why that's offensive, do I?

  • Keith B.

    If it's about the dogs, yeah, sorry. Dude in the Ravens jersey that stepped in is a hero and I hope the dogs owners are found and locked up.

    If you meant re: Gall Pl, the grim looks on the faces of the afternoon X2 drivers as they pull up would say they agree with me. If you don't believe me, drop by sometime and see how long it takes to get some free hollas or more

  • Ben

    How about the Mid Atlantic Pleated-Khakied Douchebag?

  • Jason

    Snakehead Fish

  • Skipper


  • Nunya

    The Gentrifier ( A native species from Pennsylvania, Ohio or some other white bread state) that is quickly spreading throughout DC.

    Ben's Pleated-Khakied Douchebag also gets a vote from me.

  • chiclet

    black squirrel!