During the COVID-19 lockdown, a neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa remained largely vacant as everyone stayed indoors to avoid the spread of the virus. However, there were some non-human residents peacefully strolling the streets.
A group of penguins was spotted waddling around the neighborhood, enjoying the people-free streets. Mikaela Slier was one of the people to see the penguins and she recorded them walking around and exploring.
According to Storyful, Slier explained that seeing penguins walking around was a normal sight for local residents. That neighborhood is close to the Boulders Beach Penguin colony.
She said, “To feed themselves, the penguins need to move to and from the ocean (to their nests) via the roads/streets, which is an issue for us on any normal day.”
On an average day, the penguins would navigate crowds and traffic, which is dangerous for the penguins and inconvenient for locals.
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Slier explained that people try to give the penguins space to make their journey to the ocean and back, but it’d be better if they had a less occupied space to walk through.
However, thanks to the lockdown, the penguins now have a much easier trek to the sea. The streets are open and clear and the penguins no longer have to navigate bustling crowds.
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) posted the video to Twitter, noting that penguin rangers were keeping an eye on the little birds to make sure they stayed safe.
#Lockdown perks for #Africanpenguins in Simon’s Town while #penguinrangers keep a watchful eye. #endangeredspecies @CityofCT @TableMountainNP @CTEnviroEd #savesseabirds #marinewildlife #conservationpartners pic.twitter.com/37I4KNrLPq
— SANCCOB (@SANCCOB) April 17, 2020
The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, extended the lockdown by two weeks on April 9 to hopefully help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The country has been making continued efforts to slow the spread, and the lockdown extension is part of that.
It seems that humans aren’t the only ones benefiting from the lockdown, though, since the penguins are clearly happy doing great without all the crowds.Whizzco