Whether it’s wild boar in Italy or goats in Wales, seems like animals around the world are adjusting well to life without humans during the pandemic.
In South Africa, a set of new photos from Kruger National Park shows that lions are enjoying the peace and quiet. The images show a pride of lions lying on a road, even with the presence of the photographer, park ranger Richard Sowry.
“This lion pride are usually resident on Kempiana Contractual Park, an area Kruger tourists do not see,” Kruger tweeted on Wednesday. “This afternoon they were lying on the tar road just outside of Orpen Rest Camp.”
The area would be busy with tourists on a normal day, but Kruger National Park has been closed since March 25 as part of South Africa’s nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus.
“Lying on the road during the daytime is unusual because under normal circumstances there would be traffic and that pushes them into the bush,” park spokesman Isaac Phaahla said.
While the photos are striking, Phaahla said the lockdown hasn’t led to many changes in animal behavior.
“They just occupy places that they would normally shun when there are tourists,” he said. “People should remember that KNP is still a largely wild area and in the absence of humans, wildlife is more active.”
According to the South African National Parks (SANParks) statement, although visitors are banned, food delivery, fuel provision, security and emergency services as well as wildlife crime operations are continuing.
“We would like to thank the public for their on-going support in line with government’s strategy to mitigate the impact of COVID 19, we all have an obligation to flatten the curve,” SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said in the statement.
South African President President Cyril Ramaphosa initially announced a 21-day lockdown, but in an April 8 announcement he extended the measures until at least the end of the month.