How COVID-19 changed animals’ lives for the better: Silver lining to the global outbreak

Coronavirus has undeniably given all of us a hard time, whether you are an employee, a business owner, a medical worker, a student, or a president. Yet, there is a silver lining to the outbreak, which is fortuitous benefits for some wildlife.

Bulls

The Running of the Bulls

The Running of the Bulls takes place in Spain annually throughout the first week of July. Throughout the week, at least 48 bulls are forced to charge onto city streets amongst screaming tourists and locals, slipping and sliding through the streets, smashing into walls, breaking bones along the way. Later in the day, the same bulls are pushed into the bullring, jabbed with a lance, so they come out bleeding and in significant pain, to run in circles until they give up from mental and physical exhaustion. PETA and diverse Spanish animal rights groups have been teaming up for over 18 years to end the ritualistic torture of bulls, and coronavirus has finally managed to call the event off.

Pandas

Panda

In Hong Kong, following Ocean Park’s closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak in January, eventually, pandas started successfully mating since they began constant attempts a decade ago. It’s too early to say whether the female panda got pregnant naturally but the management of Ocean Park says all signs of pregnancy are there. 

Dogs

Happy dogs spending quality time with their humans

Needless to say, our dogs are loving the quarantine. They do not need to wait all day to be let out, they get much-needed attention and spend good quality times with their humans. More so, animal shelters worldwide are reporting a huge spike in adoptions, as the result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Birds

It’s believed that birds are gaining value from the changes made due to COVID-19. Fewer people in green spaces, meaning birds can feed, breed, and rest without the usual stress of avoiding people. Another, not so obvious, positive change for birds is that closed office towers don’t tend to have lights on, therefore the number of birds bumping into windows and crashing to death is really low. All that, plus reduced levels of pollution and noise… sounds like we will get to see more birds in the wild next year!

Dolphins

Dolphins

People in Istanbul are experiencing a lockdown, and as a silver lining, they are delighted to see dolphins exploring the region. Extensive levels of pollution, noise, and traffic would usually keep these mammals away from Bosphorus’s shoreline. Yet, the newly gained peace and quiet allowed dolphins to discover new worlds.

China’s Ban on Wildlife Trade

Endangered wildlife market

China has banned non-aquatic wildlife trade and consumption, apart from medical use. As coronavirus is believed to have originated in the “wet market” in Wuhan, the decision to finally follow international conservationists and scientists’ advice seemed to ultimately be the only way forward. Wildlife Conservation Society states that this ban does not include fur, medicine, and research, therefore nonfood trade of live animals is still a possibility. It’s an amazing progression in the right direction, yet massive loopholes exist,  that need to be addressed.

Circuses, racetracks, marine amusement parks like SeaWorld and wildlife tourism attractions are closing, canceling, and postponing performances and shows due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That means that big cats, camels, horses, elephants, dolphins, and many other animals are not being exploited and tortured for the amusement of crowds. Let’s hope that the much-needed  lessons forced upon us will teach us the knowledge and understanding of the essential changes we desperately need to make. When we eventually overcome coronavirus, possibly we are able to hold on to some of the amazing changes we have indirectly caused by taking precautions to survive COVID-19.