TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s wild animals have been beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they can now roam comfortably in Shei-Pa National Park free of human interference.
Since Taiwan’s Level 3 epidemic alert took effect about one month ago, the number of visitors to Shei-Pa National Park has dropped dramatically, which has emboldened wild animals to roam the trails, hunt near creeks, and even appear at management stations and outside coffee shops.
Shei-Pa National Park Headquarters Deputy Director Lin Wen-ho (林文和) said on Tuesday (June 15) that since the Level 3 alert was instituted on May 19, all the park’s mountain huts, ecological protection areas, and recreation areas, including Xuejian, Guanwu, and Wuling, have been closed. Human traffic has dropped significantly, and wild animals wander undisturbed, Lin added.
Recently, while Shei-Pa employees were patrolling, they were elated to see a Reeves’ muntjac strolling along the eastern side of the Dalu Forest Road, a mother Swinhoe's blue pheasant and her chick hunting on the Taoshan Waterfall Hiking Trail, wild goats taking a drink from the Chijiawan Creek on Wuling Farm, and another Reeves’ muntjac appearing at the door of the Guanwu Management Station’s coffee shop to peep inside, he added.
To soothe the public’s desire to venture out during the alert, the national park headquarters has set up a YouTube channel where people can watch videos about the ecology of the national park.
(Shei-Pa National Park photo)
(Shei-Pa National Park Headquarters videos)