Restoring the equilibrium: wild nature is making a comeback at the Chernobyl exclusion zone

Wild animals are returning to Chornobyl. These bison have been captured by an automatic camera. Source: 

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After the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, radiation had been scaring off humans from the area for several decades. People abandoned the 30-kilometer zone around the station. However, the zone itself did not die. The flora and fauna developed handsomly in the absence of humans.

Pictures of these wild animals were taken by hidden cameras which react to motion.

In the exclusion zone, domestic animals associated with humans are nearly absent. Instead, a number of species native to Polissia, the marshy wooded land dividing Belarus and Ukraine, have returned. These are animals that used to be found throughout the whole European forest zone: wolf, lynx, badger, fox, wild boar, and bear. According to the words of Denys Vyshnevskiy, a researcher who has been working in Chornobyl exclusion zone since 2000, the zone is not isolated, animals can freely come or leave it. Due to the technology these movements can be tracked.

Radioactivity has always existed. Flying for an hour in a plane, a person receives the same dose of radiation as while spending a day in the exclusion zone. The fear of radiation is inherent only to man; animals avoid the cold or hunger much more.

It would be not fair to say that there are no humans at the exclusion zone at all. Only this year, 50,000 of tourists visited Chornobyl while 2,500 people regularly work in the zone. Some people decided to move there and live in abandoned villages surrounded by nature, though there are few of them. BBC, Netflix, and Animal Planet had shot films in the zone.

Officially, the Сhornobyl nature reservation was created in 2016. Yet, scientists have been working there since the first years after the accident, when populations of local animals began to grow rapidly. Currently, nature triumphs over abandoned buildings and there are already forests in places where once were roads and buildings.

Text is based on the article of Elzara Galimova published at Syto magazine and translated by Euromaidan press stuff.

Source of images:

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