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This article was first published 4 years ago  » News » Animals explore cities during COVID-19 lockdowns

Animals explore cities during COVID-19 lockdowns

Last updated on: April 02, 2020 09:02 IST
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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 across the globe.

We must sadly report that though there have been many circulating on social media, many of these optimistic posts have turned out to be fake -- there were no dolphins in Venice’s celebrated canals, or drunken elephants ambling through China’s Yunnan province.


However, there are some other instances where animals have, in fact, come out to explore city streets.

A woman watches monkeys as they search of food in front of her shop, following significant impact on tourism after the outbreak of coronavirus in front of Prang Sam Yod temple in Lopburi, Thailand. The monkeys are going ape for food as local tourism dwindles, leading to less scraps being available for them to eat. Photograph: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

Sika deer cross a road in 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. Photograph: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

SEE: Nilgai takes over streets in Noida

Noida’s busiest sector had an unexpected guest. In Sector 18 of Noida, outside the Great India Place Mall, a Nilgai or a blue bull was spotted walking leisurely on the road. The sight was a welcome change from the usually jam-packed road, which sees cars lined up bumper to bumper until the lockdown was announced. The video of the majestic creature taking over the roads was clicked by numerous journalists and has gone viral on Twitter.

SEE: Indian Bison on Noida streets

A bison, which is a rare sight to see, wanders around a market area in Noida during the 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

A woman takes a picture of a goat in Llandudno, Wales in the United Kingdom as the spread of the coronavirus continues. Taking advantage of the town’s deserted streets, the goats have been strolling through the streets, munching through gardens. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

A coyote seen on the streets in San Francisco as the city and region hunkers down due to the virus. The canines are taking advantage of the city's empty, humanless streets. Photograph: @manishkumar457/Twitter

SEE: Wild pigs seen roaming the empty streets of Paris 

Elsewhere, wild pigs have been seen on the roads of Paris, which we have got to say is very un-Parisian sight.

SEE: Small civet comes out on the road in Calicut

An unusual sight greeted policemen and the few people on the road in Kerala's Kozhikode -- a civet taking the zebra crossing. The otherwise nocturnal animal, with black spots and stripes, was seen walking on the striped road in Meppayur town of Kozhikode in north Kerala. The species was once common along the lowland coastal tracts of Kerala and Karnataka. In 1999, fewer than 250 mature individuals were thought to survive in the wild, according to a Kerala government website.

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

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