Major news site WION has linked the ‘return’ of dolphins to Italy’s coast as a result of the coronavirus (COVID 19) quarantine – which has caused cruise ships to cancel their trips. News fact checker Snopes.com says while the dolphins were spotted, it is ‘not necessarily new phenomena related to reduced human activity during the COVID-19 lockdown’. *
The virus, which is thought to have originated from a ‘wet market‘ in Wuhan that sold live animals including bats and marmots, is said to have ‘hit the reset button’ and allowed nature to ‘reclaim its space’.
In a video shared by Prince Khaled, news presenter Palki Sharma said: “This coronavirus pandemic has hit the reset button on a lot of things. For starters, we have begun appreciating old values and simpler things in life, but I want to focus on one issue tonight and that is co-existence.
“Since humans began retreating from public spaces in fear of the coronavirus, nature has begun reclaiming its space.
“Dolphins have returned to Italy’s coast, thanks to the missing Cruise ships. There are swan’s in Italy’s canals – canals which are otherwise populated with gondolas and tourists – the birds have returned.
“In Singapore, otters are roaming freely thanks to the empty public spaces.”
Images published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) show an unexpected environmental upside to the pandemic. As part of China’s aggressive response to the pandemic, factories have been shut down, and residents told to stay home
As the images show, this has led to a reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions – which are caused by burning fuel, cars, power plants, and construction machinery. These dangerous emissions are harmful to people and can contribute to a range of respiratory conditions.
*This article was updated on March 23 to update the accuracy of the article, after fact checking site Snopes.com said while the dolphins were spotted, it is ‘not necessarily new phenomena related to reduced human activity during the COVID-19 lockdown’.