Coronavirus pandemic has become a significant threat to the world as cases of deaths continue to rise. The world economy is also under a severe threat since the tourism sector has been significantly affected. This pandemic is not only affecting tourism but also posing a threat to the endangered species as the rate of poaching increases. South Africa is among the affected countries in the world has been under lockdown since mid-March.
On the other hand, lions in South Africa seem to be enjoying the ongoing lockdown. The latest news from South Africa state that a pride of lions has been spotted enjoying a peaceful and quiet moment in Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of Africa's largest game reserves. Richard Sowry performs a vital role as a ranger in this park. He continues to operate during the current lockdown, monitoring the animals and protecting against poachers.
On his patrol, he took some photographs showing the lions lying on the road just next to the Orpen Rest Camp, enjoying the sun. In an interview with BBC, Sowry says that he took the photographs while driving by pulling up some feet away from the lions.
Recently, the Kruger National Park has shared on Twitter, a group of more than eight lions,
including some young cubs, having a refreshing nap on a road that is usually busy with tourists. The park said in the twitter post that the lions were from Kempiana Contractual Reserve, a region in Kruger where no tourist is allowed to visit. Typically, lions only wander on the paved road during the night when parks are closed for tourists. These animals must have realized the fall in the tourist traffic since the beginning of lockdown. Most animals tend to adapt to a change in routine, and most likely, the new habit becomes their behavior. The primary concern now is whether these animals will adapt to this routine.
They might continue sleeping on the roads even after the lockdown. This behavior would serve as a threat to tourism as these animals are dangerous, and tourists will stop visiting the park or going close to this area. No one knows how long the pandemic will continue threatening people’s lives, and when the lockdown will be called off. As such, the lions might continue enjoying themselves.
Even as the sun rises, without all our human visitors, the urge to sing the ‘lion sleeps tonight’ is just a whim away, a whim away, a whim away!
📸 ©️ Jean Rossouw; Skukuza Golf Club , Kruger National Park@SANParks pic.twitter.com/M9XiagVqjX
— Kruger National Park (@SANParksKNP) April 13, 2020
Scientific research shows that wild animals across the world enjoy more when there is little or no human interference. It could be one of the reasons why these animals seem to be more relaxed during this pandemic. What the scientists do not understand is the fact that these animals are nocturnal, and it is not normal for them to sleep during the day. When there is tourism traffic, these animals do not go close to the tarred roads. It is now evident that animal behavior is greatly affected by human interference. However, it can be said that if not for the raging pandemic, tourism in the country would be business as usual.