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Pumas in Santiago: Wildlife takes to cities amid coronavirus lockdown

Issued on: 03/04/2020 – 18:14Modified: 03/04/2020 – 18:20

For the second time in a little over a week, a wild puma was spotted roaming the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago on Wednesday night. With the city under lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, wildlife experts say the animals are taking advantage of the empty streets to search for food.

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The young female surprised residents at an apartment complex on Wednesday night, before being tranquilised and captured by Chilean authorities.

Last week, a young male weighing at least 30kg was captured in a residential neighbourhood of the city before being released back into the wild two days later.

With the city under lockdown, wildlife experts believe the animals are being emboldened by the lack of noise and human activity to enter the city from their natural habitat in nearby mountains as they search for food.

It is a phenomenon that has been seen in several towns and cities across the world in recent weeks as hundreds of millions of people are confined to their homes in the effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19, leaving animals of various types free to roam.

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