Nature presses the reset button: Animals attack the city?

As cities around the world enforce closures, segregation, and social restrictions, all streets are empty, and the usual busy and busy human settlements have quieted down. The new crown epidemic has opened up a new space for wild animals: the city.

In San Filipe, Panama where tourism is stagnant, restaurants and bars are closed, and a rare sight appears on the empty beach: three raccoons frolic by the waves. In the Chilean capital of Santiago, a cougar ran into the city and wandered curiously, and caused social panic. Back in Spain, roe deer roars in Ciudad Real, ducks roam in Zaragoza, goats swim in Albacete at night, wild boars are not far behind, they successfully occupy the central streets of Barcelona, ​​even wolves and bears In some places in northern Spain. People who are forbidden at home are surprised to see crazy pictures and videos of animals on social media. For a time, “animal counterattack in the city” occupied the forefront of the hot search.

Jorge Olvera, professor of veterinary surgery at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​said that for wildlife, exploring the environment comes from instinct. Even after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, radioactivity did not prevent animals and plants from multiplying on land abandoned by humans. “After the niche empty field appears, it will soon be occupied.” Olvera explained. The reduction in traffic and pedestrians reduces the difficulty of wild animals entering the city. As a result, the city became a very attractive space, with a lot of food (garbage), but also extremely safe due to the absence of natural enemies and hunters.

“Animal invasion does not belong to your own space, this phenomenon has always existed.” Taking roe deer as an example, Juan Fontanias, a doctor of veterinary medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid, said, “It is easy to see roe deer on the edge of the town, And they are also used to living with humans nearby.” Moreover, some animals live in urban areas that people do not use. The fact that humans cannot see it does not mean that they are not urban residents. The sudden change in the rhythm of city life has made the animals lurking in the city and on the edge of the suburbs bolder and more courageous to explore.

Many people expressed their heartfelt rejoicing for these phenomena, and believed that this shows that nature has the ability to “self-sustain”. These messages were reposted hundreds of thousands of times on social media and made headlines. People say that if there is only one ray of hope left for this pandemic, it will be them-the animals will reactivate and run freely in a world without humans. As stated in “Jurassic Park”, life always has a way.

Experts believe that these phenomena may only indicate that animals are looking for ways to adapt to the new environment. Just like many urban animals have adapted to humans, they will also find new ways of life during human isolation. The researchers say that these animal behavior changes may be subtle. When asked whether the sudden disappearance of humans will contribute to biodiversity, experts are cautious. Improving biodiversity is not something that can be achieved in just a few months. Regarding the claim that the number of wild animals will rebound sharply and reoccupy the city, experts say this is pure fantasy-although it may be a comfort for those looking for meaning in the crisis.

1. The Japanese Fawn knocks on the door. 2. A fox walked calmly across the corner of London. 3. Monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand ran to play on the cable near the Three Peaks Tower. 4. Goats are sightseeing on the streets of Llandudno, Wales. Where to go shopping next? 5. Mother Duck took the children through the streets of Zaragoza, Spain.

But false stories give false hope. A tweet that “liked” millions on Twitter wrote: “This pandemic has unexpected positive effects: the Venice Canal became clear for the first time in history. The fish in the water are clearly visible, and the swan is back. “There are also people drying out photos of dolphins, celebrating their return to Venice, and leaving a message: “Nature pressed the reset button for us.” These optimistic news later proved to be false. The swan is a frequent visitor to the Burano Canal, and the “Venice Dolphin” was actually filmed on Sardinia.

1. Cougar visits Santiago, Chile.

2. The army of wild boars occupied Barcelona: “Great, we can relax in the playground.”

3. “Elephants drink corn wine and hang out in a tea plantation after wandering around Yunnan village.” This news was confirmed as fake news after the news spread madly on global social media.

4. The swans are actually frequent visitors of the Burano Canal. They did not return to the water because of the epidemic. However, due to the decrease in the number of ships, the river water has indeed become clearer.

In times of crisis, rumors that make people emotionally excited are as powerful as infectious diseases. When people try to cope with a pandemic, economic collapse, and sudden isolation, the demand for good things soars. The happy animal picture is an irresistible comfort.

Researchers said: “People may really be willing to believe that nature has the power to heal everything, and hope that no matter what humans do, nature has enough power to solve it.” This is a good hope.

These happy fake news about animals are not big problems in themselves. The point of the problem is that spreading false hopes in times of crisis can be harmful. When everyone feels vulnerable, false good news can deepen the distrust of others. Finding that the good news is not true may be more frustrating than not hearing anything. The “hope points” on social media may play a key role in boosting and maintaining popular sentiment in the coming weeks and even months. They don’t have to be dramatic, as long as they are true.

If these animal news can change anything, perhaps it reminds humans that animals have always lived with us. We may not think that human cities are part of nature, but they are. The idea that nature and animals can flourish due to human epidemics may just help us re-understand the value and significance of life.