Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Lions cat nap on Kruger road, with South Africa in lockdown

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology  

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 19 April 2020
Photo: SafeLand Travels And Tour @Safelandng / Twitter

COVID-19: Lion pride sleeps on tarred road in South Africa’s Kruger Park amid lockdown

A lion pride has been photographed sleeping on a road in South Africa’s Kruger National Park without any tourists to disturb them as the country is in the middle of a lockdown due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This lion pride are usually resident on Kempiana Contractual Park, an area Kruger tourists do not see,” Kruger Park authorities tweeted on April 15, 2020, according to a media report.

“This afternoon they were lying on the tar road just outside of Orpen Rest Camp.”

Kruger has been shut to tourists since March 25, when South Africa went into lockdown due to COVID-19.

The photographs were taken by Kruger park ranger Richard Sowry.

The lockdown in South Africa has been extended till the end of April.

Crocodiles lounge on tourist beach in Mexico amid COVID-19 lockdown

Crocodiles have taken over La Ventanilla, an ecotourism resort in the Mexican state of Oaxaca as the country observes a lockdown in the wake of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a media report.

The animals usually inhabit a lagoon that is part of the resort and usually avoid tourists, according to the report. However, with no tourists in sight, the reptiles have come onto the beach.

Other instances of wild animals having come out onto beaches and roads have come to light in Mexico as indeed other parts of the world during worldwide lockdowns over coronavirus.

A jaguar was recently sighted in the streets of Tulum, near the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa.

Rare leucistic sloth bear spotted in Melghat Tiger Reserve

A rare ‘leucistic’ sloth bear has been photographed in Maharashtra’s Melghat Tiger Reserve, the forest department said on April 16, 2020, according to a media report.

The individual is a female and was photographed with a normal black-coloured individual, possibly a male, at the Sipna Wildlife Division of Melghat.

Leucism is a condition where there is loss of pigment in animals causing pale or white skin, feathers, hair or scales. But pigments in the eyes are not affected.

In the past five years, only one other sloth bear, an individual from the forests of Dahod in Gujarat was found to be leucistic.

The forest department said the leucistic bear faced no immediate threat and was well-protected.

COVID-19 lockdown a blessing for the endangered Gangetic dolphin in Bihar: Experts

Gangetic dolphins have become more visible in the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) in Bihar due to the lack of human activity on the Ganga during the ongoing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, according to dolphin experts.

The lockdown was a much-needed blessing for dolphins in the Ganga and the VGDS, spread over 50 km along the river in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, Sunil Choudhary, director of Vikramshila Biodiversity Research and Education Centre of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, said on April 15, 2020.

Choudhary said the lockdown had provided dolphins everything suitable for them. “They love a peaceful natural habitat in the river. They don’t like human activities or interference,” he said.

Dolphins were being spotted at places where they had not been seen due to human activities, Choudhary was informed by local fishermen, who visited the river twice or thrice during lockdown.

This was a positive development for dolphins in the river.

“Some fishermen informed me that dolphins are getting plenty of food and they are smoothly moving from one place to another in the river as human interference has completely decreased. Dolphins are spotted more in cleaner and peaceful rivers,” Gopal Sharma, regional head of the Zoological Survey of India, Bihar and Jharkhand, said.

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