New Delhi: With humans under lockdown, many wild animals, including the endangered species, have been spotted on the deserted streets at several places in the country.
India is under the biggest lockdown with around 1.3 billion people asked to stay home in view of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed 19 lives and infected over 800 people in the country.
Indian Forest Service (IFS) officials shared videos of wild animals, including the critically endangered Malabar large-spotted civet which was last seen in 1990, taking over the streets in absence of human interference.
IFS officer Sushant Nanda shared a video of the Malabar large-spotted civet roaming on the streets of Kozhikode in Kerala. “Now it’s turn of the Malabar large spotted civet on the road. Critically endangered with fewer than 250 matured individuals. Endemic to western ghats, not seen since 1990 surfaced at Kozhikode during present lockdown,” he said in a tweet accompanying the video.
In another tweet, he shared a photo from Noida Sector 38 in which a Nilgai (blue bull) can be seen roaming on the streets.
The officer also shared a video showing a Chital (spotted deer) running on the lanes of Dehradun.
Another IFS officer Parveen Kaswan tweeted a video in which sambar deer could be seen on the streets of Chandigarh. Mass nesting of endangered olive ridleys at the Rushikulya River mouth in Odisha was another such rare sight. Forest officials found an extremely rare albino turtle there.
Nanda shared the video with the caption, “Arribada (mass nesting) of Olive Turtles are almost over off the coast of Odisha. 10000+ were recorded tonight (March 26). It will now be sporadic. It was bit late this time. Happened during daylight at Rushikulya mouth, after 2015. An Albino was recorded by the staff for the first time.”
Animal rights activist Gauri Mulekhi said the COVID spell has demonstrated how nature can rebound and flourish in the absence of human interference.
“We have pushed the boundaries of nature and cornered wildlife to near extinction over decades of industrialisation and urbanisation. The COVID spell has demonstrated how nature can rebound and flourish in the absence of human interference. Even in the urban areas, it is heartening to hear and see all kinds of birds and small mammals making an appearance,” she said.
“A big lesson to learn is to stop worldwide deforestation, minimise consumption and thereby industrialisation and take a step back to a global lifestyle more aligned with nature,” she added.