It seems many of the animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo saw the earthquake coming before it hit the metro region.
Animal care staff recognized abnormal activity by various animals around the zoo just moments before the 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit, according to a news release from the National Zoo.
Animals we know from experimental studies, can hear above and below our range of hearing, that's part of their extra-sensory abilities, said Don Moore, associate director of animal care at the zoo, msnbc.com reported.
He also speculated that the animals can pick up on vibration through their feet much more acutely than humans, which adds to their extra senses.
The Zoo officials came up with a list of changes in animal behavior that were observed by zoo staff before, during and after the earthquake. The list describes a noisy, frantic scene at portions of the 163-acre zoological park.
The Great Ape House and Think Tank Exhibit were in the middle of feeding time when the quake trickled in from the epicenter of Richmond, Va. and reached parts of Washington, D.C., New York City and Canada.
About five to ten seconds before the quake, many of the apes, including Kyle (an orangutan) and Kojo (a Western lowland gorilla), abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the tree-like structure in the exhibit, zoo officials said.
A gorilla named Mandara also reacted in the same way, grabbing her baby, Kibibi, seconds before the quake and retreating to the tree structure.
In the small mammal house, the red-ruffed lemurs started barking an alarm call, 15 minutes before the quake and then again just after it occurred.
However the howler monkeys, the lemur's housemates, were not as keen as they only started making noise after the zoo started shaking.
Beavers were in the middle of a feed when the earthquake hit; the animals stopped eating and got into the nearby water, where they stayed for a period of time. Ducks were also seen jumping into the water.
The giant pandas, however, were another story. Keepers reported that the furry creatures appeared to be indifferent to the earthquake.
Over in Virginia, the Richmond Zoo's chimps began acting up and hollering during and after the quake activity. Birds also flew around their enclosures during the quake, a spokesperson told ABC News.