As cities across the globe order lockdowns, community quarantines and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, many animals from the wild are seen wandering new territories: the big cities.
In a report by the Guardian, they said Sika deer wandered through subway stations and city streets in Nara, Japan. Raccoons were found in San Felipe, Panama beaches, too. “There were three raccoons, just frolicking along right at the edge of the surf,” said Matt Larsen, director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. “I’ve lived here six years, and it was something I had never seen before.”
Larsen is now working from his home with his wife and told the Guardina that “it was nice seeing something a little out of the ordinary.”
Turkeys were seen frolicking in an empty elementary school playground in Oakland, California. In Thailand, local monkeys also wandered into the main cities looking for food and even brawled over a cup of yogurt.
“Normally, animals live in the parts of our cities that we don’t use,” said Seth Mangle, director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. “It makes them an unseen presence, kind of like ghosts.”
Mangle added that there will be subtle changes. Foxes and coyotes may leave their hiding spots and roam a bit more, while the birds may graze and hunt new pastures.
“If anything, these times may serve as a reminder that animals have always lived in our area,” Mangle said. “We may not think of our cities as part of nature, but they are.”