As more than half of the world’s population stays indoors to try and contain the global Coronavirus pandemic, across the world wild animals, emboldened by a prolonged absence of vehicles and humans, have been venturing out of forests and off mountainsides to explore city streets.
In the USA wild turkeys have been spotted roaming university campuses and in Chile a puma was seen exploring the streets of Santiago.
In the Welsh town of Llandudno locals have been delighted by the nimble flocks of woolly mountain goats who have taken to grazing in the town’s suburban streets, while other Welsh towns have watched as flocks of sheep have strolled into town, to play in children’s playgrounds and even visit Mcdonalds.
More dramatically in Thailand videos have been shared online of vast rival gangs of monkeys, who would ordinarily take scraps of food from tourists, now engaging in running ‘street battles’. While in Barbados monkey troops have taken to hanging out at closed hotels and making themselves very comfortable at resort swimming pools.
As the popular new saying goes – nature is healing, humans are the virus!
It’s not unusual to see wildlife exploring South Africa’s small towns. Baboons, for example, are quite prevalent in towns along the Garden Route, while the resort of St Lucia in KwaZulu Natal is famous for its hippos. However, the current lockdown has forced South Africa’s wild animals out into places we wouldn’t ordinarily expect to see them. And we are loving it!
Here’s a look at some of the wildlife boldly taking to South Africa’s deserted streets during lockdown.
Penguins waddle the streets of Simonstown
In Simonstown near Cape Town, home to one of two mainland African penguin colonies in South Africa, penguins have been seen waddling through the car-less streets beyond the SANParks reserve.
Kudu spotted in Pretoria suburbs
Kudu have been spotted grazing the neatly manicured suburban streets of the prestigious Silver Lakes estate in Pretoria.
The Lions of Kruger National Park
SANParks rangers are still working during lockdown, living in the Kruger’s Park’s staff villages and heading out daily to make sure that park maintenance is being kept up and continuing the fight against poaching. While on the road they’ve had some very interesting lion sightings that have enthralled wildlife watchers from across the world.
Lions have been spotted relaxing on the Skukuza Golf Course (as have hyenas, impalas and wild dogs).
Near the Orpen rest camp in the mid-section of the park, lions are reportedly taking advantage of the car-free environment, spending more time sleeping on the tarmac roads during the day.
And at Skukuza, the Kruger Park’s administrative centre and its largest rest camp, a pride of lions have reportedly been roaming the staff village. A particularly effective way to enforce a lockdown!
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