Wild Pigs Reclaim Turkey’s Streets During Coronavirus Quarantine

Wild Pig Families Reclaim the Streets of Turkey Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Wild pigs have taken to the streets in one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations amid the coronavirus quarantine.

“In more news of animals taking back the streets: Family of wild boars Boar goes on a tour of Marmaris #Turkey,” Joyce Karam, the Washington correspondent for Middle Eastern news source The National wrote on Twitter.

Located on the Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, Marmaris is a Mediterranean resort town famous for its restaurants and ports. It sees as many as 400,000 visitors during peak tourist season.


Turkey on Lockdown

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced a four-day partial lockdown in cities across the country last Monday, per Reuters. The measure began on April 23, the first day of Ramadan.

Erdogan added that lockdowns may continue “for some time” as the nation works to mitigate the coronavirus. Turkey currently has more than 108,000 confirmed infections and more than 2,700 have died as a result of the virus.

The Turkish president hopes that the measures will help normalize life after Eid al-Fitr, “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” a Muslim holiday that marks the end of the month-long sunrise-to-sunset fasting during Ramadan.

Wild Animals During Quarantine

Wild animals are responding to the lockdown in other areas of Turkey. Social media users have posted videos of dolphins appreciating the quiet in the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul.

Dolphin-spotting is a popular activity among visitors but with the streets empty, the animals have been spotted swimming close to the shore. Amateur and dedicated fisherman typically line the coast.

“A decrease in boat and human traffic across the Bosphorus has a big impact,” Erol Orkcu, head of the amateur and sports fishing association in Istanbul, told AFP. “Terrestrial and aquatic living things can remain free without human beings. That enables dolphins to come closer to the shoreline.” 

Many regard the increased dolphin activity as a sign that the city’s dolphin population is returning to normal. Turkish author Yasar Kemal wrote about dolphin hunting devastating the nation’s marine ecosystems in his 1978 novel, “The Sea-Crossed Fisherman.”

In 1983, the government prohibited maritime mammal hunting and dolphins are now protected by law.