Nature has been here long before humans arrived on Earth, and they will be here a long time after we are gone. All types of animals, insects, and microbiology have a tendency to take back the world we stole from them. There is even evidence that these creatures grow back stronger.
There are examples of this in history. Look at Chernobyl, Russia where a nuclear reactor had a meltdown. All humans had to move away to avoid radiation poisoning. Now it is overgrown with foliage and wild animals roam free. Nature found balance after we were gone, even in the face of complete nuclear meltdown.
With the Coronavirus having much of the world in self-isolation, the effects on nature have not gone unnoticed. Pollution levels are down, and animals everywhere are popping out of the woodwork. In one case, monkeys have taken over the streets in India now that there are no humans around.
India is one of the many countries in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. Streets that were formerly littered with hundreds of people are now completely empty. That means there is a lot more room for the monkeys to come out and play. Since the country has been in lockdown, hundreds of monkeys have come out of the woodwork and reclaimed the streets outside the presidential palace.
The change in the environment in India has been huge since their population boasts 1.3 million. With no people or moving cars on the streets, it isn’t just monkeys who have started to stray into our usual habitats. In Mumbai, it has been noted that there are peacocks standing on people’s parked cars, displaying their beautiful feathers as if they were in a model in a car commercial.
Troops in Delhi are having to deal with monkeys who are easily invading the walls of the Rashtrapati Bhawan presidential compound. The guards can do nothing to stop them. This particular monkey is the Rhesus macaque monkey. They are known to steal food from humans and commit other bold acts, but now in greater numbers, they are out of control. One officer said, “they are stealing a lot more, but not yet threatening humans.”
The lack of humans on the streets is emboldening other animals, like in the case of the Himalayan black bear who went as far as to walk into a telecom office in Gangtok and injure someone. Videos on social media posted by the Indian Forest Service show elephants roaming the city streets in front of shops as well. It makes this surreal situation feel even more surreal.
Not all animals are finding joy in this new world. Animal rights activists have reported the death of four horses who normally provide tourists carriage rides. The cause of death was starvation. There are hundreds of horses who provide services like this, and they are not doing well without any assistance. The owners have no money to feed them. “They are becoming sick. We fear many more will die in coming days if they do not get food. We are finding it difficult to feed our family. How can we feed our horses?””
Stray animals who could normally resort to foraging in trash cans are starving as well since there are no people around to leave scraps. Some of these situations show just how intertwined our lives are with certain animals. While the lockdown has led certain animals to flourish, it is killing others.