By Damon Mitchell • 23 April 2020 • 12:32
FEW are lucky enough to go into the wild these days. Under lockdown, our horizons have shrunk. Beloved nature reserves and glorious national parks must wait until the quarantine is lifted. Yet it seems the wild is coming to us. In Barcelona, a snake is wrapped around a parked motorbike engine. In Puerto Banus, dolphins swim among the boats in the port. In Alhaurin, even wolves have been spotted and large jellyfish float through Venice’s now clear canals. Animals are moving into the spaces that humans have vacated, and we are unusually receptive to their arrival. When days seem so indistinct, the appearance of a new bird outside the window suddenly seizes our attention. Birdsong is clearer now that the traffic has hushed.
With quieter roads, the death toll of furry creatures is guaranteed to fall. Grass verges, left uncut, will provide a home for wildflowers and a breeding ground for bugs and insects. Heavy machinery is parked up, leaving nests undisturbed.
Animal appearances seem to bring such joy to human hearts that some tales of returning wildlife have been exaggerated or confected. However, much work to protect wildlife has slowed or stopped due to social distancing measures, and the dog shelters and horse sanctuaries, often strapped for cash, are under increased pressure. In developing countries, the absence of tourism and monitoring groups may give free rein to poachers who will see no more need to obey quarantine rules. People already living close to the edge may be forced to exploit nature to survive as their work disappears.
When the pandemic is finally over, wildlife may vanish as fast as it emerged, we may not really notice so we should enjoy it while we can.
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From the interviewed to the interviewer
As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.
Originally from Scotland but based on the coast for the last three years, Damon strives to bring the most heartfelt news stories from the spanish costas to the Euro Weekly News.
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