Wildlife around the world seems to be thriving during the COVID-19 lockdowns, as animals are finally able to reclaim space usually overrun by people. In light of this, Thailand is considering closing national parks for two months every year — a policy that would extend beyond the pandemic –to better serve its animal population.
Thailand’s 133 national parks were closed on March 25, and ever since, more wild animals have been spotted in parks around the country. These increasingly frequent sightings include a wide range of animals enjoying human-free habitats, such as serows, sun bears, bottlenose dolphins, and starry puffers.
“The absence of tourists leads to the recovery of wildlife,” Thanya Netithammakun, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) told The Bangkok Post.
Each national park in Thailand will be required to submit its plans and period of closure, and the DNP will announce details of the new arrangement once all plans are submitted.