The Malabar Civet isn't one of them, but the Coronavirus lockdown has brought a lot of animals out of hiding

BI India


  • Many animals have been spotted roaming the streets during the lockdown as traffic remains scarce on roads.
  • Residents of Sector 5 in Chandigarh have been asked to stay indoors after a leopard-like animal was spotted in the area.
  • Some posts on social media claim that the rare Malabar civet was spotted in Kozhizode, however the video is most likely of a small Indian civet, which is native to the region.
  • Other animals like the Sambar deer in Chandigarh, dolphins in Mumbai and Olive Ridley sea turtles in Odisha have also been spotted out in the open.
  • Follow the comprehensive coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic in India on Business Insider India.
The lockdown in India is keeping behind closed doors. The lack of hustle and bustle on the streets is letting animals finally come out of their hiding holes and roam about in the open. Residents of Chandigarh's upscale Sector 5 locality have been asked to stay indoors by the police after a leopard-like animal was spotted in the area.

Wildlife activists, on the other hand, have said they are not sure that the animal was a leopard and that efforts to catch it were already in progress.

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The leopard isn't the only animal that people are confused about. A video of a small Indian civet roaming the streets of Kozhizode in Kerala has also been making the rounds. Even though many have claimed that its the Malabar civet — an endangered species which hasn’t been seen since the 1990s — fact checking website Snopes contends that it’s unlikely.

Unlike the Malabar Civet, the small Indian civet is listed as ‘least concern’ on the Red List of Threated Species. The species is fairly common and healthy populations can be found living in agricultural landscapes. According to Indian Forest Officer, Parveen Kaswan, the noctural nimal is natural to the area — less traffic allows then to walk freely.


Sambar deer in Chandigarh
In another video that’s making the rounds on social media, Sambar deer were seen crossing the streets of Chandigarh at night. While it’s uncommon to see them on roads, the species is native to the region. The deer may also have wandered in from one of Chandigarh’s two wildlife sanctuaries.
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In past, numerous accidents have been reported of cars accidentally ramming into deer as they try to cross the road, according to Kaswan.

Olive Ridley’s nesting in the daytime after seven years
Olive Ridley sea turtles, which return to the Odisha coastline every year to day their eggs were seen nesting during the day for the first time in seven years. The lack of fishing boats in the sea, tourists coming to watch and foot traffic in general is likely the reason for the return of this uncommon phenomenon.

This year, around 800,000 have been spotted in hatcheries and laid over 60 million eggs.
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Dolphins, Nilgai and elephants come to check-in
In a rare occurrence, dolphins were seen in the in the bay in Mumbai. Most people believe that the their return is likely due to absence of fishing vessels in the water due tot lockdown.


A Nilgai was spotted roaming the highway outside the Great India Place in Noida. Although uncommon out on the open road, the animal is native to the region and can be found in abundance if you know where to look. Like the Sambar deer, there have been many incidents of the animals accidentally getting hit by cars trying to cross the road.
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In Haridwar, an elephant was seen visiting a near-by village — not an uncommon sight — although it looked curious as to why there were no humans outside.


Even though many animals have been seen roaming the streets as humans remain inside, it’s not an indication of nature reclaiming urban cities. At most, its a temporary shift where animals adapting to human habits. Once the lock down is over, things will likely return to business-as-usual.
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See also:
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