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In a South African national park, lions were spotted napping on a sunny road on April 15, 2020.
Kruger National Park spokesman Isaac Phaahla told CNN, "Lying on the road during the daytime is unusual because under normal circumstances there would be traffic and that pushes them into the bush."Richard Sowry/Kruger National Park
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Sika deer stand at an entrance to a restaurant in Nara, Japan, on March 12, 2020. Like a number of tourist hotspots around Japan, the city where deer roam free has seen a decline in visitors amid the COVID-19 lockdowns. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
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Some groups of deer have begun roaming into Nara's residential area due to shortage of the food they normally get from tourists.okadennis/Twitter
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A sika deer walks past a souvenir store at a temple in Nara, which is now quite empty following the coronavirus public lockdowns.Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
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The Japanese town has become so deserted that a deer was able to make its way inside a normally crowded subway tunnel.Flickr/Anna Ayvazyan
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In Mar del Plata, Argentina, a sea lion was spotted on the sidewalk.MARA SOSTI/AFP via Getty Images
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Gray langurs play in the street in Ahmedabad in western India. SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images
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A wild fox walks through London on March 28, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has instituted strict lockdown measures, urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic activities like food shopping and exercise.Ollie Millington/Getty Images
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In Adelaide, one of Australia's largest cities, kangaroos have been seen hopping through the streets.
South Australian Police tweeted their sighting, writing, "Protective Security Officers tracked a suspect wearing a grey fur coat hopping through the heart of the #adelaide CBD this morning. He was last seen on foot heading into the West Parklands."South Australia Police / Twitter
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A mass of olive ridley sea turtles nesting in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. Local officials said it was the first time there had been a mass nesting during the day in seven years.
Officials don't believe this return is directly linked to the coronavirus lockdowns, but they say that without humans on the beach, they're able to devote more time to caring for and protecting the turtles. Rabindranath Sahu
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A mountain goat passes by a shuttered storefront in Llandudno, Wales.
The goats are occasional visitors to the seaside town but a local councillor told the BBC that the herd was drawn this time by the lack of people due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Like many places around the world, Llandudno has seen a resurgence of wild animals in its urban areas.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Goats roaming around the corner of Llandudno’s Upper Crust coffee bar on March 31, 2020.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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At least two wild pumas were spotted in the metropolitan area of Santiago in Chile.Reuters
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A herd of cows walk on a deserted road as India remains under a 21-day lockdown, keeping the country's 1.3 billion people out of the streets.
Wild animals, including monkeys, are roaming human settlements as people are staying indoors.Yawar Nazir/Getty Images
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One of the wild coyotes reportedly spotted by residents of San Francisco since the city's lockdown on March 16, 2020.manishkumar/Twitter
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A coyote spotted near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. @_lugaresymas / Twitter
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CNBC reporter Christina Farr captured this image of three sleeping coyotes while out for a walk in San Francisco. @chrissyfarr / Twitter
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A Reddit user shared this picture of mountain lions in their front yard in Boulder, Colorado. clicktosave / reddit
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Bears and other wildlife at Yosemite National Park have reportedly been more active lately, like this bear that the park agency's camera spotted around lunchtime just across from Yosemite Village.
Screengrab from Yosemite National Park/Instagram
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Yosemite's wildlife has been making use of walkways and roads normally busy with human traffic.
Yosemite National Park/Instagram
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A young bobcat is spotted while hunting for a meal in Yosemite Valley on April 11, 2020, a month after the park was shut down.
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Buffalos walk on an empty highway in New Delhi as India remains under an unprecedented lockdown.
Yawar Nazir/Getty Images
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This wild boar was caught sniffing around normally busy roads in Sardinia, Italy.Cosodelirante/Twitter
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Harvard professor Maya Sen shared this photo of wild turkeys roaming the Boston college campus.
"The turkeys are well on their way to taking over campus," she wrote. @maya_sen / Twitter
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Deer decided to set up camp in the residential area of Harold Hill in East London. While it's not uncommon to see a few of these animals every so often, residents say they've never seen them in such big numbers as they have since the lockdown measures were enacted.
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This herd of deer in the East London residential neighborhood were given food by the few passersby who encountered them.Billy Bragg/Twitter
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This small Indian civet was seen walking on a crosswalk in the town of Kozhikode in Kerala. The unusual animal sighting surfaced online two days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi enacted a national lockdown.Twitter
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Geese take a stroll in the middle of the normally hectic Las Vegas Boulevard.Fox5 Las Vegas/Twitter
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A jaguar caught on the surveillance camera of the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Tulum, Mexico, after the hotel was closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The big cat is native to the area but is usually scared of urban areas.Twitter
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Marine wildlife has also reportedly become more active around our shores. In Burnaby, Canada, a rare sighting of a pod of orcas was reported near the Barnet Marine Park.jimhanson_nv/Twitter
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An absence of tourists and residents in public spaces in Mexico led to a leatherback sea turtle laying its eggs on the beach in front of a luxury hotel in Cancún.
Regional environment secretary Alfredo Arellano told local media, "On average, we only see one leatherback sea turtle a year and the nesting season starts in May, it was something unusual." The sighting happened after the Mexican government ordered a public lockdown until April 30, 2020.Twitter
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Thousands of macaques around the Phra Prang Sam Yot monkey temple in Lopburi, Thailand, have been filmed by locals as they brawl over food. The animals typically get fed by tourists but as visitor numbers decline, the macaques have become desperate for food.
Sasaluk Rattanachai/ Facebook
33 Pictures Of Animals Taking Over Human Spaces During COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak may be causing devastation around the world, but in some places, the slowdown of human activity has led to a reemergence of wildlife taking over once-crowded public spaces.
A Wild Resurgence During Lockdown
Since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in November 2019, the outbreak — which has infected at least 177 countries and sickened more than one million people worldwide — has seemingly brought the entire world to a standstill.
But a closer look proves that while human life has been disrupted by the pandemic, for the animals it's a different story.
Things have mostly remained the same for the wild inhabitants of our planet — in fact, some of them may be doing even better than before. Since the wave of public lockdowns began to sweep continents between February and March of 2020, reports of unusual wildlife activity have risen.
Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesMountain goats roaming the streets of Llandudno during the Welsh town's coronavirus lockdown.
Sightings of wild animals such as bears, big cats, coyotes, and deer — which normally remain hidden from nearby humans — have now increased.
Animals haven't just come out of their natural hiding places. They have also taken over bustling urban areas now devoid of human presence.
"I'm sorry if the goats got arrested. But they were being very naughty," Stuart said of his panicked reaction.
The goats were believed to have come down from the nearby Great Orme to look for food. They enjoyed brief fame as photographs of the funny-looking goats strutting in front of shuttered stores made global news.
Other amazing wildlife resurgences captured on film have taken place around the world and can be viewed in the gallery above.
Public Spaces Reclaimed By Nature
okadennis/TwitterDeer that naturally roam the ancient Japanese city of Nara have begun to venture into its residential areas.
These wildlife sightings are certainly fascinating. But there have also been a few instances where supposed sightings turned out to be inaccurate or fake. It's a consequence of social media reporting, which is how a lot of first-hand sightings first come to light.
Reports of wild dolphins swimming through the now-clear waters of the Venice canals — which many took as a symbol of the harm humans have done to the environment — turned out to be a pod spotted at a port in Sardinia, hundreds of miles away from the canal city.
Another wildlife report that turned out to be false was the story of a herd of elephants getting drunk on corn wine and passing out in an unguarded farming patch in China.
Although a few of the viral sightings were proven false, the majority of wildlife sightings are still true.
Wildlife thriving as humans put their lives on hold is a testament to the extent of human influence; as human activity quiets down, nature has become more lively.
Kruger visitors that tourists do not normally see. #SALockdown This lion pride are usually resident on Kempiana Contractual Park, an area Kruger tourists do not see. This afternoon they were lying on the tar road just outside of Orpen Rest Camp. 📸Section Ranger Richard Sowry pic.twitter.com/jFUBAWvmsA
Most remarkably, levels of air pollution have also severely declined.
Researchers in New York told the BBC that early measurements of air quality since the global slowdown showed carbon monoxide from vehicle emissions had been reduced by nearly 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
The resurgence of wildlife in unexpected places, particularly major urban areas, is a poignant reflection of how much human encroachment has affected wildlife.
"One of the hallmarks of species that live near or within human settlements is that they are very behaviorally flexible and responsive to these kinds of changes," Joanna Lambert, a wildlife biologist at the University of Colorado-Boulder, toldPopular Science of the recent reemergence of animals.
"They are paying attention, and certainly things have quieted down."
An extreme example of this speedy adaptation is how quickly wildlife living around abandoned toxic sites like the Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear disasters have bounced back and even thrived over the years since.
In addition to the obvious changes in the environment, experts believe that the isolated humans currently stuck in lockdown could also be contributing to the appearance of wildlife resurgence, even when things may be the same as usual.
"People are just at home noticing more things," explained Niamh Quinn, a human-wildlife interactions advisor with the University of California. "Especially in California, we're not all spending five hours a day on the freeway [now], you know?"
Jaclyn is the senior managing editor at All That's Interesting. She holds a Master's degree in journalism from the City University of New York and a Bachelor's degree in English writing and history (double major) from DePauw University. She is interested in American history, true crime, modern history, pop culture, and science.