Coronavirus News Asia

Nature takes back world’s urban spaces


As humans retreat into their homes as more and more countries go under coronavirus lockdown, wild animals are slipping cover to explore the empty streets of some of our biggest cities.

Wild boar have descended from the hills around Barcelona while sika deer are nosing their way around the deserted metro stations of Nara, Japan. 

Indian social media has gone wild about footage of a stag scampering through Dehradun, the capital of the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Gangs of wild turkeys have been strutting the streets of Oakland, California, while a puma turned up in the centre of the Chilean capital Santiago, which is under curfew.

“This is the habitat they once had and that we’ve taken away from them,” said Marcelo Giagnoni, the head of Chile’s agricultural and livestock service that helped police capture the curious big cat.

While sightings of dolphins in Venice’s canals turned out to be fanciful, they have been popping up in ports elsewhere in the Mediterranean as emboldened wildlife takes “free rein to wander our cities and towns,” said Romain Julliard, head of research at the French Natural History Museum.

He told AFP that foxes were at the vanguard of the new urban explorers. “They change their behaviour very quickly. When a place becomes quiet, they’re straight in there.”

Wildlife ‘spring of love’

Animals and birds that normally live in urban parks, like sparrows and pigeons, are also more likely to venture beyond their usual territories, Julliard said, “freeing a space for other animals.”



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