Wildlife reclaiming parks during lockdown: ‘The brontosauruses have quadrupled’

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK—Usually, when you drive through Yosemite Village, you have a tough time not running over gnarly rock climbers or granola-eating Boomers. But on Monday, the only sounds you could hear were the screeching coos of the pterodactyls.

Ever since the lockdown started three weeks ago to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the wildlife population has regained its natural place in our National Parks.

Bears are playing shuffleboard, ravens are busy building a three-story casino, and dolphins are swimming in the Merced River again.

“Perhaps the most amazing sight,” said resident of the park, Longfellow Deeds, “is the return of the dinos. We haven’t seen dinosaurs at Yosemite for probably around 65 million years, when aerosol sprays and automobiles killed them off.”

The parks are closed to tourists since March 20, but a few lucky people who live in the parks are able to watch the rebirth happen right before them.

“You really couldn’t pick a better place to be quarantined,” said Ed Leadhead, a bellhop at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel. “You get to watch brontosauruses grazing in the meadow.”

“My friend Charlie was playing bocce ball with a couple of velociraptors the other day,” Leadhead said. “He got his entrails sucked out of his eye sockets by one of them. It’s just so nice to see the earth breathing once again.”