From surfing hippos to playful dolphins, animals have been taking advantage of a world in coronavirus lockdown.
Unprecedented measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have left many humans across the globe confined to their homes, leaving animals to roam free.
Wild animals have dared explore deeper into urban areas and have been found in places which would usually be impossible for them to venture to; usually-packed beaches, city roads and waterways.
A wild hippo was pictured splashing and surfing in the waves off the usually packed tourist beach of Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique, on April 21.
MOZAMBIQUE: A wild hippo splashing and surfing in the waves off the usually packed tourist beach of Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique, on April 21
This is the incredible moment a hippo was caught on camera enjoying a dip in the ocean and surfing the waves on a deserted lockdown beach in Africa
THAILAND: Hundreds of monkeys in Lopburi, central Thailand, fight over a single banana after coronavirus caused a huge drop in the numbers of tourists who feed them
CHILE: A puma climbs a wall during the dawn at a neighbourhood before being captured and taken to a zoo, in Santiago on March 24
ITALY: A jellyfish swimming in a Venice canal, during the country’s lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection
THAILAND: A wild monitor lizard was seen enjoying a dip in an empty hotel swimming pool in Thailand that was closed to guests because of the coronavirus
Usually the beautiful stretch of sand near the Elephant Reserve in Mozambique would be busy with tourists and surfers. But with the Covid-19 outbreak gripping the world the wildlife is making a big comeback in the area close to the South African border.
Fish, monkeys, bird life and even the largest animals have all been seen returning the paradise-like seafront. Thiago Fonseca, 46, from Mozambique, caught the amazing moment on film.
A lull in boat traffic and a fishing ban in Istanbul forced by the coronavirus pandemic has proved good news for some of the city’s most-loved inhabitants – the dolphins that swim in the fish-rich waters of the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia.
The Turkish city of 16 million has been under lockdown since Thursday as part of government measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, following two successive weekends where it was also shut down.
The latest confinement period is due to expire on Sunday midnight.
The pandemic has claimed more than 2,700 lives in Turkey.
Spotting dolphins in the Bosphorus – a usually very busy narrow waterway connecting the Mediterranean to the Black Sea right through the heart of Istanbul – is often a source of joy for the city’s residents.
TURKEY: Dolphins swim in the Bosphorus Strait, where sea traffic has nearly come to a halt in Istanbul on April 26
A lull in boat traffic and a fishing ban in Istanbul forced by the coronavirus pandemic has proved good news for some of the city’s most-loved inhabitants – the dolphins that swim in the fish-rich waters of the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia
Spotting dolphins in the Bosphorus – a usually very busy narrow waterway connecting the Mediterranean to the Black Sea right through the heart of Istanbul – is often a source of joy for the city’s residents
But the lockdown has meant fewer ships and more fish in the water, encouraging the mammals to come closer to shore and prompting more frequent sightings.
‘A decrease in boat and human traffic across the Bosphorus has a big impact,’ said Erol Orkcu, head of the amateur and sports fishing association in Istanbul.
‘Terrestrial and aquatic living things can remain free without human beings. That enables dolphins to come closer to the shoreline,’ he told AFP.
Before the pandemic, fishing was a daily ritual in Istanbul with hundreds lighting fires or bringing samovars for making tea as they prepared for long angling stints along the shore.
The sight of thousands of amateur fishers on the Galata Bridge and on the banks of the Bosphorus is one of the city’s iconic images. But they are now almost deserted.
A wild monitor lizard was seen enjoying a dip in an empty hotel swimming pool in Thailand that was closed to guests because of the coronavirus.
The cheeky reptile was spotted by British tourist Sandra Roberts while she walking through the hotel yard in Bangkok on April 25.
While the rest of the guests were confined to their their rooms, unable to swim because of the Covid-19 preventive measures, the lizard enjoyed the empty pool.
Footage shows the 4ft long adult lizard paddling through the water before climbing up to the pool side. The reptile then walks past the sunbeds, heading into the bush.
ISRAEL: Wild boars have been taking over the city of Haifa in Israel. They rip up vegetation and rummage through bins, sparking a fierce debate between animal rights defenders and those in favour of driving away or killing them
The pigs have been roaming free and finding plenty of meals in the neighborhood trash cans
INDIA: Huge flocks of flamingos have been seen in lagoons in Mumbai during a strict Covid-19 lockdown in India
Sandra said: ‘It is not fair that he is allowed in the pool. Anyway, it is so beautiful to have a moment with an animal like this. It made my day a lot better.’
Government ministers in Thailand have imposed strict measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including banning hotels from using swimming pools.
Other restrictions include canceling all incoming flights, alcohol prohibition, curfews and travel bans. The country has recorded 2,947 infections and 54 deaths.
Bangkok has large numbers of Asian water monitor lizards that live in parks, lakes, canals and marshland.
Elswhere in Thailand, hundreds of hungry monkeys were seen fighting over a single banana in Lopburi in March, after coronavirus caused a huge drop in the numbers of tourists who feed them.
The primates are normally well fed by tourists, but visitors have plummeted because of the COVID-19 virus which is gripping the world.
The animals were reported to be part of two ‘rival gangs’ made up of the monkeys who dwell in the city and those from the temple areas who were fighting over food.
Footage shows hundreds of monkeys crossing a road and then chasing a single monkey which has got hold of a banana.
THAILAND: This aerial view screengrab taken by Thailand’s National Marine Park Operation Center in Trang shows dugongs swimming in Joohoy cape at Libong island in Trang province in southern Thailand
At first the primates are seen running independently as they appear to look for food.
But then the noise of their cries increases dramatically as dozens chase a single monkey which seems to have a banana.
They are seen jumping on it and others as they fight over the food.
Even locals who are used to seeing the monkeys were shocked by their ferocity.
Onlooker Sasaluk Rattanachai captured the scene from outside a shop where she works.
She said: ‘They looked more like wild dogs than monkeys. They went crazy for the single piece of food. I’ve never seen them this aggressive.’
A threatened sea mammal was spotted exploring shallow waters off Libong island in Thailand’s Trang province that are now undisturbed thanks to the coronavirus lockdown.
Drone video footage released by the Department of National Parks on Monday shows a 30-strong herd of dugongs in the waters. They were feeding on seagrass and occasionally surfaced to breathe.
Human intrusion and marine pollution have made dugong sightings in southern Thailand rare in recent years.
‘It’s quite unusual,’ marine scientist Thon Thamrongnawasawat told The Associated Press on Thursday when asked about the dugongs. ‘This species of mammal is very sensitive to speed boats and people. When they are gone, they feel free to gather in a large group and come close to shore.’
Monkeys have also been running riot on the streets around India’s presidential palace. With India’s 1.3 billion population and tens of millions of cars conspicuous by their absence, stray domestic animals and wildlife has moved to fill the void, while also suffering from the pandemic fallout.
In Delhi, troops of monkeys scampered over the walls of the Rashtrapati Bhawan presidential compound, past military guards and into the grounds of ministries and other official buildings.
INDIA: A monkey is seen on a gate of a government office in New Delhi on April 8
A monkey reaches out to grab bananas as a man feeds a group of monkeys during lockdown to prevent the spread of new coronavirus in Jammu, India, Wednesday, April 8
A group of monkeys sit on a roadside in New Delhi on April 8. With India’s 1.3 billion population and tens of millions of cars conspicuous by their absence, wildlife has moved to fill the void while also suffering from the coronavirus fallout
Monkeys are seen playing on a roadside in New Delhi on April 8
‘They are stealing a lot more, but not yet threatening humans,’ said one officer on duty at the palace entrance.
The Rhesus macaque monkeys – who often snatch food from shoppers’ bags – have long been a problem in the capital, but there have been reports of some getting into office buildings during the lockdown.
An octopus was the latest creature to be spotted in the canals of Venice in Italy this week after the coronavirus lockdown turned the water clear.
The octopus was sighted near the Piazzale Roma last week and reported to experts at the city’s Institute of Marine Sciences.
Scientists are puzzled at how the creature got there, suggesting it could have come in from the Adriatic Sea, escaped from a fish market or been released as a prank.
ITALY: This octopus was the latest creature to be spotted in the canals of Venice after the coronavirus lockdown turned the water clear
The octopus was sighted near the Piazzale Roma last week and reported to experts at the city’s Institute of Marine Sciences
The lockdown has brought the city’s boats and gondolas to a standstill, allowing sediment to settle at the bottom and leaving the surface clear, experts say.
‘It’s really very strange than an octopus can get there in that environment so far from the sea and close to the hinterland,’ said Luca Mizzan, the director of the city’s Natural History Museum.
‘Nothing can be ruled out even if it’s a joke. The video shows that he is a visibly healthy octopus, he is not afraid,’ he told Corriere del Veneto.
Canals in Venice are the clearest they have been in living memory after Italy’s coronavirus lockdown stopped boats from bringing sediment to the surface.
Heartwarming video from Brazil showed newly hatched turtles crawling on the sands of a desolate beach that had been closed off to sunbathers because of coronavirus restrictions.
BRAZIL: More than 200 hawksbill turtles have hatched on the shore of Janga beach in Paulista, a city in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco
City hall employees from Paulista, a municipality in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, recorded the tender occasion as 97 turtles moved in unison at Junga beach.
Paulista’s environmental agency said about 400 sea turtles have been born on the coast this year, including the 97 hawksbill turtles that hatched in March. Another 109 were born at Janga beach April 5.
The city expects four more nests to hatch by the end of May.
Incredible footage shows how crocodiles, jaguars and sea turtles are ‘taking back control’ of two Mexican resorts as tourist activities are suspended and residents remain indoors.
The animals were filmed in the coastal resorts of Cancun and Riviera Maya in the south-eastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
In one clip, viewed 120,000 times on Facebook, a crocodile is seen swimming along a canal outside people’s balconies.
The cameraman says: ‘It is gigantic!’
Another video shows a jaguar walking a city street at night.
According to local media, the jaguar was also spotted inside the complex of the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Tulum.
Meanwhile, the absence of tourists and residents in public spaces led to a leatherback sea turtle laying its eggs on the beach in front of a luxury hotel in Cancun.
MEXICO: Another video shows a jaguar walking a city street at night. According to local media, the jaguar was also spotted inside the complex of the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Tulum
In one clip, viewed 120,000 times on Facebook, a crocodile is seen swimming along a canal outside people’s balconies in Mexico
Regional environment secretary Alfredo Arellano told local media: ‘On average, we only see one leatherback sea turtle a year and the nesting season starts in May, it was something unusual.’
According to reports, the turtle laid 112 eggs in front of the Grand Oasis Cancun hotel.
Arellano said: ‘These species lost their habitats when the cities expanded and their living spaces became smaller and smaller.’
In Chile, cougars have been sighted wandering through residential neighbourhoods. Two cougars were caught since the city of Santiago fell quiet amid the movement restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
A third big cat was caught earlier this month and was taken to a zoo for a health check before being released back into its natural habitat.
Meanwhile, wild boars have been taking over the city of Haifa in Israel.
The pigs have been roaming free and finding plenty of meals in the neighborhood trash cans.
They rip up vegetation and rummage through bins, sparking a fierce debate between animal rights defenders and those in favour of driving away or killing them.
The city has banned culling the animals.