Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wildlife Is Flourishing in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Reuters' photographer Vasily Fedosenko's photoseries taken in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the contaminated zone after the '86 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster, shows that wildlife is flourishing despite the accident.

What happens to the environment when humans disappear? Thirty years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, booming populations of wolf, elk and other wildlife in the vast contaminated zone in Belarus and Ukraine provide a clue.

On April 26, 1986, a botched test at the nuclear plant in Ukraine, then a Soviet republic, sent clouds of smouldering radioactive material across large swathes of Europe.

Over 100,000 people had to abandon the area permanently, leaving native animals the sole occupants of a cross-border "exclusion zone" roughly the size of Luxembourg.

Featured image: Bisons at a bison nursery in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone near the abandoned village of Dronki, Belarus, January 28, 2016. Copyright Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters.

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