The Wild, Wild DMV: A collection of weird, heartwarming and beloved animal sightings in the DC region

The D.C. area has seen its fair share of animals that aren't native to the region milling around, most recently with a llama on the loose in Fairfax County. So, what other creatures have been spotted out of place in the DMV?

Llama Drama

The llama, named Colby, was found in Fairfax County on Tuesday running on the Fairfax County Parkway near Popes Head Road. It was later spotted in a man's backyard.

For several hours on Sunday evening, Fairfax County police officers tried to get their hands on Colby who had escaped from her home. 

READ MORE: Llama on the loose in Fairfax County reunited with owner

Eventually, Colby was taken in by the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and returned to her rightful owners.

Zebra Saga

It all started when three zebras escaped from a farm in Prince George's County in August 2021. Thus began a months-long saga of finding and rescuing the zebras that captivated the D.C. region.

Original reports said five zebras had broken free, but Prince George's County clarified saying only three escaped.

VIDEO: Zebras remain on the loose in Upper Marlboro

Videos of the zebras running around Upper Marlboro captivated residents and thrilled those who were able to see the zebras in person.

In October 2021, county officials revealed that one of the zebras had died in an illegal snare trap on Sept. 16.

Finally, in December 2021, the final two zebras that escaped the Prince George's County farm four months prior were returned to their herd.

Jerry Lee Holly of Upper Marlboro who owned the zebras was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.

Red Panda Escapee

This is one of the most iconic D.C. wild animal stories.

Rusty the red panda escaped from his habitat at the National Zoo at some point during the night of June 23, 2013.

Zoo staff and the public began searching and before long, Rusty sightings were being reported in the District.

Rusty was spotted in the Adams Morgan neighborhood and eventually located in a tree.

Years later, people in D.C. still remember Rusty's great escape. 

The area mourned in October when it was announced that Rusty died unexpectedly at The Pueblo Zoo.

Fox Frenzy

Foxes aren't exactly uncommon occurrences in parts of the DMV, but when a rabid fox starts biting congressmen on Capitol Hill, it causes quite a stir.

In April, U.S. Capitol Police received multiple reports of people on the Capitol grounds being bitten by a fox. Congressman Ami Bera’s office confirmed to FOX News that the congressman was nipped on the leg by the fox on his walk into the office.

USCP notified the public that the "aggressive" fox had been captured. Three fox kits were recovered from the den site of the female fox who tested positive for rabies.

READ MORE: Fox that bit 9 people around Capitol Hill tests positive for rabies; 3 kits euthanized

The fox and the three kits were humanely euthanized, and DC Health contacted all human victims who were bitten.

Turkey Attacks

April was a busy month for animal sightings in the region as a wild turkey was reportedly chasing after and attacking people on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in Northeast D.C.

Videos sent to FOX 5 even captured some of the attacks.

The attacks became enough of an issue that authorities posted a sign with a picture of a wild turkey alongside the trail, reading, "Caution! Do not approach wildlife."

The District’s Department of Energy and Environment says there are actually more than 100 wild turkeys throughout the city.

The department says one male is responsible for the attacks, adding that it’s "not usual turkey behavior" and he believes this specific bird has somehow become acclimated to people. 

Bear Affair

It's not something you see every day – a bear roaming the streets of Tysons. But that's what a FOX 5 viewer captured in October.

And it didn't stop there. A bear was spotted after this incident in one resident's backyard.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources says if you are experiencing a problem with a bear, call the toll-free Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at 855-571-9003.