Every year, prairie dog publishes the Best of Regina, a sprawling, epic event where we share our readers’ picks for the best people, places, events, shops and services this town has to offer. Right now we’re collecting votes online. Polls open until noon Thursday, Sept. 23.

While voting continues, I’m profiling some of the new categories in this year’s Best Of. Up today: Best Wild Animal Found In The City.

One thing that makes cities wonderful is the way nature adapts to them. You can have all the roads, lawns and buildings you want but there will always be uninvited creatures making their homes in urban settings.

I think that’s beautiful, and should be celebrated.

Since moving here a little more than a decade ago I’ve had my days brightened by surprise sightings of hares, owls, bats, deer, pelicans, a couple of moose (well, I didn’t see them personally), squirrels, mice, crows, magpies, more bats, more hares, butterflies, beetles and even garter snakes (of which I am an extra-huge fan because I’m a weirdo).

I have no doubt a lot of you share my love for city critters of all (or at least most) shapes and sizes. So head over to the poll and vote for your favourite — be reasonably specific, don’t just write “bird” — and we’ll give the winning critter a well-deserved salute in our October 21 Best of Regina issue.

Up tomorrow: Best Store Sign! No I am not joking.