While people around the globe are mostly self-isolating at home, animals of all kinds are starting to reinhabit parts of the planet that have long been unapproachable due to human activity.
Wild boars on the streets of Barcelona, forest animals entering the cities of Japan, a herd of goats taking over a deserted town in Wales, and now a record number of flamingos are painting the waters of Mumbai – one of India’s largest cities – pink.
While these majestic birds have been gathering to the city for their breeding and feeding season for around 40 years, the Bombay’s Natural History Society (BNHS) believes that there has been a 25% increase in the number of flamingos in 2020. This is most likely the result of the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown.
“The lockdown is giving these birds peace for roosting, no disturbance in their attempt to obtain food, and overall encouraging habitat,” Deepak Apte, the conservation group’s director, told the Hindustan Times.
Two months ago, India implemented the world’s largest lockdown measures, forcing most businesses to shut down and restricting the movement of its population of 1.3 billion.
Consequently, the metropolitan region of Mumbai – usually a highly busy place – has become incredibly calm, which created the perfect conditions for flamingos to gather in the wet parts of the city.
Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary during the #lockdown
Each year nearly 1.2 lakh Greater and Lesser Flamingos visit Mumbai during winters in search of an ideal feeding ground and stay until the onset of monsoon@MangroveForest @NeenuSomaraj @MahaForest @MahaDGIPR @jayotibanerjee pic.twitter.com/YF848OO2Kg
— Mumbai Mirror (@MumbaiMirror) May 17, 2020
And while researchers at BNHS were naturally unable to go out and count the number of the pink birds, they were able to do so by dividing large photographs into thirds in order to estimate them digitally.
Eventually, they came up with a number of more than 150,000 flamingos that made Mumbai their home last April, creating an incredible sea of pink cuteness.
For Sky News Australia’s report on the story, please see the video below.
What are your thoughts on animals around the world roaming the world’s cities? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve enjoyed it.