Fact-Check: No, Dolphins, Swans Did Not 'Return' To Italy's Coast Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Italians reported seeing wildlife such as swans, dolphins and fishes returning to city's clearer ports and canals due to a halt in the tourism, calling it a silver lining.

22 March 2020 10:32 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-05-05T13:07:02+05:30
Editor : Bharat Nayak
Fact-Check: No, Dolphins, Swans Did Not Return To Italys Coast Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Image Credits:Pixabay

With more than 304,500 people infected with the novel coronavirus across the globe, the pandemic has forced countries to shut their borders and impose major lockdowns to prevent the outbreak.

Italy reported nearly 800 deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday, March 21, compelling Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to order a lockdown except for the provision of essential services.

Amid the lockdown, Italians reported seeing wildlife such as swans, dolphins and fishes returning to city's clearer ports and canals due to a halt in the tourism and gondola traffic, calling it a silver lining in the present scenario.

Italians posted pictures and videos of dolphins, swans and fishes making an appearance in the water bodies that usually stay muddied due to boat traffic, putting a spotlight on the impact of human intervention and calling it " Nature's reset button."

Twitterati widely shared heartwarming images of spotting the animals.

One resident posted photos of dolphins enjoying the newly quiet waterways, saying, "Venice hasn't seen clear canal water in a very long time. Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us."


The claims crossed borders with Kaveri Ganapathy Ahuja, who lives in New Delhi, tweeting about the swans that "returned" to Venice canals. The Tweet hit a million likes.

"Here's an unexpected side effect of the pandemic," her tweet reads. "The water flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned."

A number of media outlets picked up the same.

Claim

Dolphins, Swans returned to Italy's coast of Venice amid Coronavirus lockdown

Fact-Check:

The claim is misleading

Swans are known to be spotted regularly on the Italian coast. Dolphin Images were not shot in Venice.

"The swans in the viral posts regularly appear in the canals of Burano, a small island in the greater Venice metropolitan area, where the photos were taken. The "Venetian" dolphins were filmed at a port in Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of miles away," detailed National Geographic.

Reportedly, dolphins are a rare sight in the Venetian Lagoon, but multiple people have reported spotting them around the country, according to W Magazine.

Pierpaolo Campostrini, the managing director for Consortium for Managing Research Activities in the Venice Lagoon, in an email to ABC News, clarified that the transparent water seems to be a natural consequence of less boat traffic, which usually kicks sediment to the surface.

"The low turbidity of the water does not mean cleanliness," Campostrini said. "The transparency is due to the absence of sediment resuspension."

Also, the Venice Mayor's office told CNN that while the canals may look clearer than before the lockdown, the water quality has not necessarily improved.

Therefore, Given the evidence, it can be ascertained that a misleading connection was made between the coronavirus lockdown and appearance of wildlife on the Italian coast of Venice.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343

Also Read: Fact Check: Viral Message Claiming Civic Bodies Spray Chemicals To Kill Coronavirus Is Fake

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Palak Agrawal

Palak Agrawal

Digital Journalist

Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.

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Bharat Nayak

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As the founding editor, Bharat had been heading the newsroom during the formation years of the organization and worked towards editorial policies, conceptualizing and designing campaign strategies and collaborations. He believes that through the use of digital media, one could engage the millennial's in rational conversations about pertinent social issues, provoking them to think and bring a behavioral change accordingly.

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