Wild animals are exploring cities during the coronavirus lockdowns

Mar 24, 2020 | News

By Hannah Frishberg – New York Post

When humanity’s away, the animals will play.

With much of the world driven indoors to quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, some species not often seen — or, at least, rarely in such large numbers, and certainly not against such empty backdrops — are exploring cities, the Guardian reports. Photographers and social-media users have been duly documenting.

“Less tourists in Nara = less people feeding the deer in the parks,” tweets one Bloomberg reporter alongside photos of deer wandering the urban streets of Nara, Japan. The ancient city, usually a popular tourist destination, has been emptied of human life since Japan hunkered down in the face of the novel virus.

Deer have also been spotted in a field close to the Luton, Britain airport.

In the old quarters of New Delhi, a monkey was spotted on Sunday searching for food in an alleyway full of shuttered shops. Monkeys were also caught congregating in front of a shop near Prang Sam Yod temple in Lopburi, Thailand, on Tuesday.

In Oakland, Calif., Guardian editor Charlotte Simmonds spotted wild turkeys playing on the empty schoolyard next door to her. “Spotted on the playground at the elementary school next door, which has been closed for several days . . . wild turkeys!” she tweets.

In Venice, Italy, canals have turned crystal clear after boat traffic was halted due to COVID-19, with swans and fish enjoying the period of calm before people return. Stories that dolphins have returned to Venice waterways, however, are unfortunately false. Twitter reports of drunken elephants coming through a village in Yunnan, China, brought smiles during a tense time — but they too were sadly unfounded, National Geographic reports.

While feral animals appear to be thriving during this strange time of reduced human activity, domestic animals are not. Many NYC dog and cat adoptions have been canceled in the face of the pandemic, with far fewer people visiting shelters, and those potential pets are now at risk of being euthanized.


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