Earth Day 2020

Photos of Animals Exploring While Humans Stay Inside

When people are away, wild animals will play.
April 20, 2020, 9:33am
Wild Animals in City during coronavirus
(L) Photo from @SANParksKNP on Twitter. (R) Photo from @lovemaruchanday on Twitter.

Everyday life has changed a lot since governments around the world imposed nationwide lockdowns and tough social distancing measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. An unexpected result of restricted human activity and reduced noise pollution are unbelievable sightings of wild animals now prancing around cities.

It seems like the sudden absence of humans has encouraged some wild animals to explore urban landscapes without the fear of traffic or disruptive city noises, while forcing others to wander around unfamiliar neighbourhoods in search of food.

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This totally different kind of, er, animal crossing brings lions and deer to roads as if Snow White just summoned them with a high-pitched song.

These photos show a pride of lions seemingly taking an afternoon nap on an empty road in Kruger National Park, South Africa. According to CNN, the road is normally filled with tourists but the national park is now closed to visitors as part of a nationwide lockdown.

In the seaside town of Llandudno, Wales, goats were seen frolicking on deserted streets as residents practised social distancing.

With a steep decline in the number of visitors to Japan’s famed Nara Park, adorable deer that were once the main attraction of the park are now venturing into neighbourhoods. Without tourists feeding them crackers, the deer are now in search for food on their own.

The nilgai is a large Asian antelope that is commonly found in northern India. They are not usually seen in the city, but the absence of traffic during India’s nationwide lockdown has them roaming the streets of Noida City.

In Thailand, streets are swarming with hungry macaques as tourism suffered immensely due to the coronavirus. Like Nara's deer, macaques depend on tourists to feed them. In a sight to behold, two macaque gangs in Lopburi City even got into a serious rumble.

Peacocks are occasionally spotted in Dubai, but with stores closed due to the coronavirus, these flamboyant birds can be seen strutting around the city in flocks.

Residents across Spain were treated to sightings of wild boars in their neighbourhoods.

During a nationwide lockdown, sea lions enjoyed some sunshine at Mar del Plata harbour, Argentina.

VICE is committed to ongoing coverage of the global climate crisis. Read all of our Earth Day 2020 coverage here, and more of our climate change coverage here.

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