Dolphins return to Italy's coast amid coronavirus lockdown: 'Nature just hit the reset button'

WATCH: Drone video showed an uneasy calm over A4 motorway on March 15 after the Italian government imposed a lockdown throughout the country in its latest attempt to contain a growing outbreak of coronavirus.

Amid the bad news following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, some things happen to be looking up in Italy.

Wildlife that typically kept away from the Italian coast and Venice canal appears to have returned, thanks to a lack of tourism and docking cruise ships.

People have taken to Twitter to share videos and photos of nature “doing a hard reset,” as one Twitter user, @b8taFPS, put it.


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“Venice hasn’t seen clear canal water in a very long time,” they wrote. “Dolphins showing up, too.

“Nature just hit the reset button on us.”

A collage shows footage of two dolphins swimming in an Italian port, as well as Venice canal waters running clear for the first time in a long time, thanks to a decrease in water-vehicle pollution.

The dolphins, Esquire reports, were spotted swimming by the port of Cagliari, which is the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia.

W Magazine points out that dolphins have only very rarely been spotted in the Venetian Lagoon, but multiple people have reported seeing them around Italy.

Some Twitter users have been sharing photos of swans populating canals around the country, implying that they weren’t there before.


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Twitter user @ikaveri shared photos of the stunning sight, writing: “The first are visible, the swans returned.”

While a beautiful sight, one Twitter user, claiming to be from where the pictures were taken, says it’s not uncommon to see swans there.

“You actually posted a photograph of my hometown, Burano, the swans live in the lagoon and have actually been there for over 20 years and have never actually left,” they tweeted.

“People feed them in the spring so they roam the lagoon with their cignets and you can often see the fish.”

Boars are coming out to play, too.

Another Twitter user, @Cosodelirante, shared four images from his hometown of Cagliari.

“Ducks in the fountains in Rome, Venice canals have now clean water full of fishes. Air pollution dropped,” they wrote. “Nature is reclaiming its spaces during quarantine in Italy.”


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One photo shows a dolphin at the port, while another shows a boar munching on something in the middle of the street.

https://twitter.com/Cosodelirante/status/1239203236927680512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1239203236927680512&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fin.mashable.com%2Fculture%2F12283%2Fdolphins-swans-return-to-venice-canals-as-italy-locks-down-humans-amidst-covid-19-scare

@CBobRobinson, another social media user, shared a stunning video of a dolphin rolling around in the water of an Italian port.

“Dolphins are returning to the coast of Italy now that cruise ships and other human activity have halted,” they tweeted.

While animals returning to their natural spaces has been a welcome reprieve, Italy is still struggling immensely under the pressure of COVID-19.

In the past three weeks, 1,135 people have required intensive care in Lombardy, the region in northern Italy hit hardest by the rapidly-spreading virus.

However, Lombardy only has 800 intensive care beds, head of intensive care at Milan’s Policlinico Hospital Giacomo Grasselli said, according to Channel News Asia.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from Reuters.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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