A Beautiful Radioactive Wilderness

In the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear incident , the international community established an exclusion zone of 30 km around the site to protect the public. The exclusion zone has closed off 1,600 square miles of land to human in habitation. 30 years after the incident the area still has remained untouched though there is one glimmer of hope. 03-Chernobyl-animals.ngsversion.1461679692238.adapt.885.1

The lack of human beings within  the exclusion zone has allowed for much of the natural wild life to thrive within the zone which in a way shows the area is not entirely dangerous. The animal populations have exploded since the lack of humans is a refuge for many native species in the area including the Przewalski’s horse that was nearing extinction in the 90’s when it was reintroduced to the area.

“In a new study released Monday, Beasley says that the population of large mammals on the Belarus side has increased since the disaster. He was shocked by the number of animals he saw there in a five-weekSURVEY. Camera traps captured images of a bison, 21 boars, nine badgers, 26 gray wolves, 60 raccoon dogs (an Asian species also called a tanuki), and 10 red foxes. “It’s just incredible. You can’t go anywhere without seeing wolves,” he says. (See a video about wolves taking back Chernobyl.)”

-National Geographic

One of the major worries is the radioactive contamination into the Pripyat River which runs next to the Chernobyl power plant. Many Scientist still say that ever though the animal populations have been growing at a steady rate in the area that it is not indicative of individual animal health resulting from exposure to the radioactivity.02-Chernobyl-animals.ngsversion.1461679690979.adapt.768.1