Without you, flamingos are thriving! 

As most of the world is locked down under the COVID-19 quarantine, stay-at-home laws, and all the horrifying death and dying, we "Great Homo Sapiens" are rarely venturing outdoors. While we are angsting in our pajamas, the natural world is thriving (which has both inspiring and somewhat dark implications).

You've probably seen photos from around of the world of animals emerging from their exile in the woods and the least-abandoned trash bins in New York, but now these previously sensible creatures have clearly reached a consensus on this matter: The humans and their scary cars and loud voices are out, so this is #ourtime. City streets, sidewalks, and storefronts are now packed with animals, and they're loving it, roaming the streets as utopia has, at last, come into fruition.

Some may call this the Aviatic Renaissance, the Babylon of the Bats and Feral Cats, the Bovine Revolution, or the Running of the Bulls. At last, they must run no more. One example is this report of a surge is the Great Flamingo Migration (usually annual, but with 25 percent greater attendance this year) that we've witnessed in Mumbai, India.

"We finally decided, after much discussion and legislative backlash from a few malcontents in the Cabinet, that this is the route we will take moving forward," Lulicia, Senior Member of the Phoenicopterian Council of Public Affairs said in a Zoom call. "After working with diplomats across species lines, we collectively voted to reclaim the public domain as our own. We will now take up occupancy wherever we like, because the Big Things appear to have gone extinct, and we'll, at last, reclaim our rightful land. Deep down inside, we all wanted to break free."


Courtesy of Pratik Chorge/HT Photo

Deepak Apte, director of the BNHS, said there's an overall increase in the flamingo population due to the 2018 Era of Love (a successful breeding season two years back). But we're seeing this phenomenon in cities around the world, and Apte says this definitely plays a factor in the increase in numbers. 

"...[T]he lockdown is giving these birds peace for roosting, no disturbance in their attempt to obtain food, and overall encouraging habitat,” he said.

Sunil Agarwal, a resident of Navi Mumbai, agrees that the lockdown has played a role, and he hopes we remember to value these creatures are we enjoy the majestic, Instagram-worthy sight of them thriving as they flock to public spaces in our absence.

“Residents are cooped up at home spending their mornings and evenings at their balconies taking photographs and videos of these relaxed birds," he told the Hindustan Times. "The lockdown will at least prompt people to focus on what is around them, which they had been taking for granted ..."

The world is still pretty sometimes.