TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Wildlife in Taiwan has seldom found life so pleasant, without human intrusions, amid the COVID-19 restrictions that have lasted almost two months.
National parks across the country have reported sightings of rare animals in broad daylight since mountaineering and trail hiking was banned in mid-May to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The sight of a Taiwan serow hopping onto the railing of the Bong Bong Train Station and stretching its neck out for a feast of leaves in Yilan’s Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area has surprised park rangers, wrote UDN. The Bong Bong Train, a railway service that went from transporting logs to tourists, normally sees visitors queueing up for tickets in the early morning with animals nowhere to be seen.
A yellow-throated marten was caught strolling down a path in an accommodation area of Taipingshan, and a crab-eating mongoose was spotted wandering and appearing rather relaxed in the Kenting National Forest Recreation Area of southern Taiwan.
Other rare scenes include sika deer walking in groups in Kenting during the day and Mikado pheasants meandering around at the Taipingshan visitor center. Recordings of wild animals reclaiming their natural habitat during the lockdown have amazed and moved many Taiwan residents, with some suggesting that national parks start closing periodically for the purpose of ecological restoration.
Taiwan serow eats leaves at Bong Bong Train Station. (Forestry Bureau photo)
Silka deer (Facebook, Kenting National Forest Recreation Area photo)