Yosemite, national park in the United States, has been closed to the public except for a few employees and local residents since March 20, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The park, famous for its beautiful waterfalls and gigantic sequoia trees, usually seduces over 3 million nature lovers each year, where most visitors arrive between April and October.
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However, with the closure of the park, some changes have been noticed.
“It’s very quiet right now at the park,” Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean said in an interview.
“It’s an amazing scene where you hear the natural sounds of the river, wildlife and the birds. The wildlife is getting a little bit bolder now because there are few people around.”
Dean said that they are “trying to anticipate and plan how the park will be when it reopens, because, you know, it won’t be business as usual this summer”. Nonetheless he is expecting that people may be reluctant to visit the restaurant or visitor center.
In the meantime, the wildlife is happy having no visiors. “I think nature is obviously welcoming the change,” said Dean. Bears, coming out of hibernation, were being seen more frequently as they were less secretive and felt more comfortable, he said.
According to Dean, coyotes are displaying the most visible change. “They are out in the daytime now and they’re not afraid. I mean, they’re just sort of walking by people and walking around, among buildings.”
Reporting by Norma Galeana in Los Angeles.