Pachyderms lumber across Capitol Hill

The parade of animals, clowns and sanitation vehicles on a route Tuesday around the Capitol to the Verizon Center signaled the beginning of a five-week visit of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Eight weeks to the day after Inauguration, the circus atmosphere was back on Capitol Hill. This time the pachyderms received top billing, with their equine friends bringing up the rear — or, for non-Animal Planet devotees, the elephants led the horses, close cousins of the donkeys. In previous years, this event brought zebras to town.

Both parties were followed by several street-sweeping vehicles deployed by the District’s Department of Public Works to clean up their mess.