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Mammoths reclaiming East Anglian countryside amid coronavirus lockdown

Mammoth yesterday in Suffolk (Photo by local potato farmer Maurice Piper)

Emboldened mammoths have begun roaming the deserted East Anglian countryside during the coronavirus lockdown.

The remaining beasts retreated to the region’s forests hundreds of years ago, including Thetford Forest, Dunwich and Rendlesham Forests.

But with locals forced to stay at home rather than toil in the fields, the mammoths now have the courage to venture out to pastures new.

The specimen above was photographed by Suffolk Gazette reader Maurice Piper, a potato farmer from Westleton in Suffolk.

A large male, it had wandered to the outskirts of the village and was foraging outside Mr Piper’s house.

Wildlife expert Lorraine Fisher, 34, said: “While it is a beautiful thing to see, we would urge the public not to approach any mammoths who have ventured close to built-up areas.”

Mammoths, from the elephantid genus Mammuthus, are extremely large and strong. Although not prone to violence, they would hurt if they stood on your toe.

“Do not go up to them, but please do take a photograph if you can and send it in,” Ms Fisher added.

“We have not been able to study their behaviour for many years.”

It is believed around 180 mammoths live in East Anglia, the last place they survive in the UK.

The news comes after goats took over a Welsh town, dolphins returned to Venice canals, and Lowestoft’s natural environment returned.

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