While us humans are cooped up in our homes during the lockdown, animals are slowly coming out and reclaiming the land and sea. The rare sight of a large gathering of pink flamingos in Navi Mumbai is the latest to make rounds on the internet. By Upasana Singh

 

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First, a dolphin was seen swimming in the blue waters of Mumbai. Then, residents of Chandigarh spotted a leopard. In Nepal, people noticed a rhinoceros walking freely in the streets. Animals all around the world have been coming out of their homes and into empty cities as people remain under self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

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In Navi Mumbai’s Talawe region, a group of pink flamingos was seen by the residents of the Seawoods Complex that is located opposite the wetlands in Nerul. The residents were ecstatic to witness this spectacular sight of flamingos over the weekend. It was soon revealed that the birds migrated to a waterbody near Navi Mumbai due to decreased human activity.

An estimated 100 flamingos was spotted in areas that have been acquired by City Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to construct residential buildings and a golf course. Acting upon this knowledge, one of the residents of the complex, Sunil Agarwal posted a video on social media with a caption appealing to the Urban Development Department and CIDCO to declare the area as a Flamingo Sanctuary at the earliest.

Due to the recent debris dumping in the area, migratory wetland birds had not been arriving according to their usual seasonal movement. Earlier, large flocks came in November and stayed until June. However, this has changed as a result of ongoing construction, locals dumping alcohol bottles, and the fishing community encroaching the area of the birds. This time flamingos have arrived after a delay of almost six months.

Although other birds such as terns, waders, herons, and seagulls have been spotted at the wetlands, their numbers are also are falling drastically.

In February, Chief Justice SA Bobde had expressed his concern over the extinction of flamingos. He stated that if they were to disappear, then they might never return. While resolutions are being discussed to prevent the degradation of the habitat of flamingos, the latest sight of these pink-feathered flamboyant birds in Navi Mumbai is definitely a silver lining.

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