Whales filmed having whale of a time during lockdown

International By: The Bullet Wire 3:45 am

LE PECQ, France (AP) — With humans away, the whales will play.

In another sign that wild animals are roaming more freely while locked-down people are sheltering indoors from the coronavirus, a maritime patrol has filmed remarkable images of whales powering through Mediterranean waters off the coast of southern France.

The graceful pair of fin whales was filmed Tuesday in waters off the Calanques national park, a protected reserve of outstanding natural beauty next to the usually bustling but now locked-down Mediterranean port city of Marseille.

Didier Reault, who heads the park board, told France Info radio on Thursday that it is “very, very rare” for fin whales to be spotted and filmed at such close quarters in the reserve’s waters. He said the whales usually stay further out in deeper Mediterranean waters.

Fin whales are among the largest of the species, weighing as much as 70 tons and growing past 20 meters (65 feet) in length.

Wild animals venturing into places vacated by humans have also been spotted elsewhere around the world, as hundreds of millions of people are locked down and limited in their movements to try to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and death.

Other places where animals have taken advantage of the peace of less human activity include Llandudno, a town in North Wales. There, mountain goats have been filmed roaming in frisky clumps through the streets and chomping on plants in people’s front yards.

___

Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Featured & Breaking

Advertisement