Wildlife in Yosemite National Park have been filmed enjoying the start of spring without the presence of humans in their habitat.
The park released a video on its Facebook page of bears, deers, foxes, bobcats, and other animals crossing empty roads and exploring areas normally inundated with people as the coronavirus lockdown keeps visitors away.
The footage, filled with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and waterfalls, showed how wildlife were thriving amid the absence of human visitors.
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Yosemite, located in California, has been closed since 20 March and is being taken care of by around 200 park service employees, reported the Los Angeles Times. The current park closure is expected to be its longest on record.
The park said in a caption alongside the video: “April kicked off with one last snowstorm, and since then spring has really been taking off!
“Waterfalls are picking up, the Merced River is flowing faster, meadows are green and full of birdsong, and animals are active, taking advantage of all the new food sources that are starting to appear. There are even a few dogwood flowers blooming, though most are still just starting to bud.”
A park employee, Dane Peterson, told the Los Angeles Times that the bear population in Yosemite has “quadrupled”. Bears, bobcats and coyotes that usually dwell around the fringes of the park, away from human activity, have made notable appearances in the park’s more open spaces.
The animals in Yosemite are not the only ones enjoying a world without humans. Numerous places around the world have seen animals exploring urban areas and repopulating unused waterways, such as those seen in Venice, Istanbul, Albania and Thailand.
California was one of the first states to impose lockdown measures and has recorded over 45,000 Covid-19 cases, with 1,809 deaths.
There are over a million cases of the virus in the US, and the country’s death toll has surged to 58,955, more than the number of American soldiers who died during the Vietnam war.