Although it seemed that it was a scene from the Jungle Book or as if it were another game of the Jumanji game, some wild animals began to look “like Pedro at home” in urban and semi-urban areas of the country during the period of preventive isolation mandatory, decreed by the National Government, in the midst of the emergency due to COVID-19.
For the doctor in Biology from the University of Wollongong in Australia, Carlos Andrés Delgado Vélez, and current professor of the Ecology program at the Faculty of Sciences and Biotechnology of the CES University, it is possible that some records of wild animals, disseminated by the networks social, are new, although for his judgment, perhaps the situation of stillness and confinement leads people to perceive better and easier the presence of wildlife that was already close to the territory.
“I speak in particular of the dog fox (Cerdocyon thousand) because it is one of the species that we love and have tried to get to know for years. This species has been entering the city of Medellín since long before the quarantine, but it is possible that now it is more evident for city observers ”, said the professor of the Ecology undergraduate program.
For the academic, fauna could be divided into two groups: species sensitive to urbanization and species tolerant to urbanization. The former, such as the Woolly Tigrillo (Leopardus tigrinus) are not frequent in cities and although they are close to infrastructure and human activities, their habitat is associated with the forests on the slopes of the Aburrá Valley. For its part, the second group of species can abound in cities and even take advantage of human infrastructures and activities, as is the case with pigeons.
"Sensitive species then, could be expanding or daring to expand their range or presence in the city, benefited, for example, by the decrease in noise, traffic and human presence during quarantine. A tolerant species could be exhibiting the opposite response. For example, if it is a species accustomed - and dependent - to human presence, it may be going through "difficult times," he explained.
However, there is a greater concern: What will happen to wild animals in transit through urban areas once the quarantine period ends? For the doctor in Biology, species sensitive to urbanization could be trapped in cities.
“As they would not normally be here, it is important to consider slowing down the post-quarantine process of human beings in cities to allow these individuals who potentially entered and settled in the city to retreat back to their 'original' areas. of distribution, in case the urban area is not able to provide them with habitat and sustenance ”, concluded the professor from the CES University.
In case of sighting an unusual wild animal near your residence, experts recommend calling the environmental authorities with jurisdiction in each municipality, such as the secretariats of the Environment, the autonomous corporations and the Environmental Police.