Scores of wild animals have been spotted in Israeli urban centres which once used to be a beehive of human activity as the coronavirus pandemic isolates people in their homes.
Amir Balaban, director of the urban wildlife initiative at the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, said the pandemic situation has made wild animals re-inhabit the places humans have temporarily abandoned. “The animals are expanding their range thanks to the fact that we’re not around.
We see a growing number of animals in areas where they were never seen before,” Balaban told Xinhua. Mammals are so smart, they can feel a difference in human activity immediately, according to Balaban.
Even birds noticed the empty cities of Israel during their migration from Africa to Europe and started to fill the peaceful gardens.”At night, we can hear mammals such as foxes and jackals, while more and more people spot these wild animals from their windows or gardens,” said Balaban.
He cited Nubian ibexes which were seen “going into Eilat city and grazing in the gardens along the seafront,” and striped hypenas seen “walking around the parks and in the neighborhoods in the early hours of the evening” in the southern metropolitan of Beersheba.
In the northern port city of Haifa, the wild boars have are even braver by moving into the open parks with their litters of piglets.
“One very important thing for us to learn from this experience is that we have to mitigate the rate of our development and effect on natural surroundings,” Balaban noted.
Uri Naveh, deputy manager of science division at Israel Nature and Parks Authority, told Xinhua that wild animals are not supposed to live in urban areas.
But they “have no choice because of human behavior and development … (as) the animals are the suffering ones from” the interaction between humans and animals,” Naveh said.If we do not use nature in a sustainable way, we will lose all the services the nature is producing for us, Balaban warned.