What comes to your mind when you picture Venice? Most people think about the canals, typically filled with gondolas and delighted tourists who make their way through the waterways. Now that we are dealing with the pandemic, things have calmed down in the area considerably.
Most people who love Venice and would like to see the area are disappointed that the pandemic has stopped people from going. As it turns out, bottlenose dolphins may not feel the same way. In fact, there were two bottlenose dolphins, a mother and juvenile, that were seen recently in the Punta Della Dogana area near St. Mark’s Square.
According to The Times, the head of Venice Natural History Museum, Luca Bizzan, said that it was an unusual sighting. Bottlenose dolphins may be in the general area but they don’t typically go that far into the city.
Since the waters are calmer in Venice at this point, they may have been pulled into the area by the cuttlefish that lay eggs in the lagoon this time of year.
Although there were fewer tourists and cruise ships in the area, along with motorboats, there were still enough people that they had to cordon off the area and keep curious onlookers from getting too close. After all, this isn’t just an unusual sighting, a researcher at the University of Padua said that it was the first time they’ve seen a mother and juvenile at St. Mark’s Square, according to The Times.
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Due to some commotion in the nearby area, officials worked hard to get the bottlenose dolphins back into the safe waters of the open sea. It took them three hours to do so.
According to Traveller, the coast guard released a statement, saying:
“In case of further sightings in the lagoon, we would ask everyone to exercise the greatest caution, not to disturb the cetaceans and to report their presence to the coast guard.
The dolphins did not appear to be in difficulty and after a few minutes left the area, reappearing a little later just inside the Grand Canal.”
It is becoming more and more common to see wildlife returning to areas that would typically be teeming with humans. Italy was one of the first countries to impose a lockdown due to the coronavirus last year.
According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Venice Mayor’s office said the water is clearer because of less traffic in the canals because boats typically bring sediment from the bottom to the water surface. There is also less air pollution, due to less boat traffic.
It seems as if these bottlenose dolphins were taking advantage of a rare opportunity.Whizzco