From South Africa to California, animals in national parks are spreading out in unusual places.

By Cailey Rizzo
Updated June 01, 2020
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At least animals are getting their exercise lockdown.

From South Africa to California, animals in national parks are spreading out in unusual places, due to a lack of visitors.

In South Africa’s Kruger National Park, a photographer captured images of lions lazing in the middle of the road.

"Lying on the road during the daytime is unusual because under normal circumstances there would be traffic and that pushes them into the bush," a park spokesperson told CNN. But other than exploring new spots of the park, animal behavior hasn’t changed because of the coronavirus lockdown.

"They just occupy places that they would normally shun when there are tourists," he said.

Kruger National Park is currently closed to visitors. The only people allowed in the park are those working for food delivery, fuel provision, wildlife crime operations, security and emergency services, South African National Parks announced.

South Africa’s lockdown has been extended until the end of April, so the lions have at least a few more weeks to enjoy their run of the park.

Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty

And in California’s Yosemite National Park, black bears have been popping up in places they normally wouldn’t be. Earlier this week, the park shared video of a bear climbing a tree next to ranger housing.

The employees who remain in the park have reported a higher-than-usual number of sightings with bears, bobcats and coyotes.

“It’s not like they aren’t usually here,” Dane Peterson, who works at the park’s Ahwahnee Hotel, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s that they usually hang back at the edges, or move in the shadows.”

Yosemite has been closed to visitors since March 20. Normally, in April, the park would receive 308,000 visitors.

Around the world, animals are wandering out of their typical hiding places as humans stay inside to combat the coronavirus. In the streets of Wales, goats are taking over villages and wreaking havoc on shrubbery.

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