(TMU) — Human civilization has seemingly screeched to a halt for many, with those of us fortunate enough to have our good health hunkering down to read that Dostoevsky novel we’ve put off for many years, catch up on movies and streaming series, or endlessly scroll through our social media feeds.
However, our neighbors in the world of animals don’t seem to have received similar orders to self-quarantine or shelter in place. Across countries hit hard by the novel coronavirus—including Japan, Italy, and Thailand—wildlife has spilled into the eerily quiet city streets, creating almost Jumanji-like scenes of creatures roaming carelessly through concrete jungles.
Nara Park in Japan has long been a famous tourist destination due to its large population of gorgeous Sika deer, who are normally fed rice crackers by tourists eager to snap selfies with the beautiful deer, many of which have been trained to bow on command.
Bu since Japan’s government clamped down on foreign travel to the country while quarantining travelers from South Korea and China, over 1,000 deer inside the park have struggled to feed themselves. As a result, the deer have wandered beyond the boundaries of the park and into the city of Nara in hopes to feed themselves.
Photo and video of the deer roaming the streets, subway stations, and landscaped front yards of the city—sometimes in herds—have been posted across social media.
— okadennis (@okadennis) March 1, 2020
— okadennis (@okadennis) March 4, 2020
Japanese news outlet All-Nippon News Network or ANN even did a feature on the Nara Park deer invasion.
Meanwhile in Central Thailand, the large monkey population is also starving due to the lack of tourists, who once eagerly lined up to feed the little primates. The situation has grown so desperate that the little monkeys are engaging in fierce gang warfare in now-abandoned city plazas.
Posted by Sasaluk Rattanachai on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
In Italy, swans and schools of fish have begun appearing in the canals of Venice, taking the place of the city’s famous yet now-absent gondola boats. The scene caused one observer to comment, “Nature just hit the reset button.”
😳 😳 😳 #venice
An unexpected side effect of the pandemic: 💧Water's flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever.
🐟 🦢 The fish are visible, the swans returned pic.twitter.com/crWf4kdZ1M
— Aurel Boriçi (@AurelBoriciBT) March 18, 2020
Even bottle-nosed dolphins are rumored to have appeared in the city, although some social media users claim that the images were from the harbors of Sardinia, and not Venice’s canals.
Thought I’d spread abit of positivity for you guys. Since the lockdown of Venice without the pollution from boats the water has been begun to clear up and a dolphin has been spotted in the canal for the first time in nearly 60 years! #venice pic.twitter.com/dbq4mGhfnp
— Jack (@NotLacazette) March 17, 2020
— Jacob Schot (@Schot_Capital) March 17, 2020
With an extremely stringent lockdown in effect across the country, the scenes of Mother Nature reoccupying urban spaces hasn’t been restricted to Venice alone. On various social media posts, animals including boars, ducks, sheep, and even horses can be seen meandering through Italy’s streets. The spectacle has caused no small amount of amusement among stir-crazy Italians sweating out the crisis from home.
Boars in the middle of my hometown, dolphins in the port of Cagliari, ducks in the fountains in Rome, Venice canals have now clean water full of fishes. Air pollution dropped. Nature is reclaiming its spaces during quarantine in Italy. #COVID19 #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/dr6QILfF9V
— Francesco Delrio (@Cosodelirante) March 15, 2020
Meanwhile, a post has gone viral that claims to show a group of elephants breaking into a village in China’s Yunan province. They later got drunk from drinking the village’s wine.
While humans carry out social distancing, a group of 14 elephants broke into a village in Yunan province, looking for corn and other food. They ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden. 😂 pic.twitter.com/ykTCCLLCJu
— Corono she better don’t (@Spilling_The_T) March 18, 2020