Humans In, Wildlife Out

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From inside my living room in Mumbai, Maharashtra, I can feel the rumbling world around me growing quieter. From the rattling sound of the train near my building to loud honking of vehicles on the road, everything has stopped. Since Narendra Modi declared a lockdown in March 2020, telling people to practice social distancing and to leave their houses for essential reasons, Mumbai has noticed a sharp decrease in noise pollution produced by humans. The usual hum produced by us is gone, and now all we can hear is silence. The roads seem deserted, which is so new for all of us. If you are a city dweller like me, then you know what I mean.


These days I hear sounds that could usually get muffled by a car. The sound of nature! I hadn’t seen a single sparrow for a long time now. The last time I spotted them was a few years back. I thought they had disappeared. But I was wrong, they were hiding, and their chirping remained muted by the noise. Things have changed now, and due to this lockdown, I can see and hear them sitting and chirping on the branches of the trees. In the morning, I enjoy eating breakfast, sitting near the window.


Also, I’ve noticed some parrots hiding in the tree branch. The sound of their wings flapping and flying from one spot to another is beautiful. And I have realized that this year’s spring season is quite different. Due to no sign of a human on the road, birds and animals are migrating from one place to another. I also think the birds are increasing in my locality. Plus, due to the reduction in noise pollution, I can hear them chirping louder. I believe that coronavirus is healing the earth. Being locked indoors has made us all realize so many important things, like using resources carefully. Moreover, I have also realized that staying home is not only helping us to fight corona but also is helping in healing our mother nature. But unfortunately, we aren’t lucky to witness this change with our own eyes.


Wildlife taking over the Earth


While creating a modern world, we have forgotten that it’s nature that has created us. We have done many inhuman activities in the past. Now is the right time to let it breathe and recover. Besides, we should learn how to be kinder to our home planet from the animals. The land equally belongs to them as it belongs to us. This time, it’s us who are locked in. Giving them a little space to thrive won’t do us any harm. For the last two months, various news channels are reporting that the animals are coming out of the wild.


From goats in Wales to otters in Singapore, various breeds of animals have made the news headlines. They are benefiting from the lack of human presence and exploring cities as if they are on a spring break. Furthermore, they are taking over the streets, and numerous pictures and videos of animals have surfaced on the internet. Just imagine, one day you wake up and see the sight of wild animals, parading on the streets! Besides, nature is recovering, and Venice is the best example. Locals of Venice said that the canals have cleared up, and now they can even see crabs and fishes. Also, the pink flamingoes are returning in large numbers to Mumbai beach. The major reason for their return is due to less human activity. It is not a huge victory, but at least we have received one good news after we got hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The wildlife is taking over, and the environment is healing by itself. It is all because of lockdown.


Here in April, at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, a herd of deer was spotted. If you are a Mumbaikar and have visited this National Park, then you would already know that it is very challenging to find deer here. They are very shy, and even if you spot one, they will disappear within a second. A few days back, I read an article about a deer falling into a house in Mumbai. Some residents stated that it was chased by a leopard, and accidentally landed in the house at night. The family made a call to the forest department, and the deer was successfully rescued by the team. Apart from that, even peacocks were spotted by some Mumbaikars last month. It seems like wildlife is taking full advantage of this pandemic, and chilling in the suburbs.


Due to less noise and air pollution, I have also seen butterflies and bees flying around my house. If this lockdown continues, we might see an increase in the population of smaller fauna. However, I have seen a tremendous decline in blue-rock pigeons in my locality. And I don’t know the reason. So all I want to say is if people ever encounter wild animals on roads, then they must know how to handle the situation carefully. They should contact the forest department immediately, and maintain space if they ever see wild animals on the streets.


Additionally, marine life is also recovering. As the restaurants and hotels are sealed, we have seen a huge decline in seafood. So this has resulted in recovery in sea life. The occurrences of seals and dolphins were rare before, but now people can see dolphins and other mammals from their homes. This pandemic has become a blessing for wildlife. The factories are closed, highways are cleared, and river systems are clean, this is why the ecosystem is healing. But, if we want the entire wildlife species to recover, then we need a larger lockdown.


Lastly, I hope that the wild animals who are strolling around the streets do not destroy any public property, and continue enjoying their time out without hurting anyone. Let’s also pray that when we win over this pandemic, we make nature conservation one of our top priorities.

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