Jump to content

[Animals] After Chernobyl, only animals live there


Recommended Posts

After the Chernobyl disaster about thirty years ago, animals became the only living creatures inhabiting the Chernobyl region in Ukraine after an explosion at the nuclear plant that belonged to the Soviet Union, which prompted humans to abandon the region.


Bisons are seen at a bison nursery in the 30 km (19 miles) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor near the abandoned village of Dronki, Belarus, January 28, 2016. 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. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH "WILD CHERNOBYL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES


On April 26, 1986, an explosion occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear plant as a result of a failed experiment, which released clouds of nuclear fallout that spread radiation over large areas of Europe.

Initial official statistics indicate that 31 people were killed in the nuclear disaster, but many more died from radiation-related diseases such as cancer, while the issue of the total number of dead and the long-term health effects remains controversial, with unknown numbers of workers being poisoned during disinfection operations.

More than a hundred thousand people were forced to leave permanently, leaving the exclusion zone - which is similar in size to Luxembourg - a breeding ground for animals.

Elk in forests and swamps in the Chernobyl region (Reuters)
Elk in forests and swamps in the Chernobyl region (Reuters)
"Humans cannot live here, it is impossible in the coming years, for 24,000 years," Ukrainian Environment Minister Hana Vronska said of the exclusion zone, which includes an area of 2,600 square kilometers of forests, swamps and wastelands.

Despite the radiation, a study published in the journal Current Biology last October said that the number of wolves increased seven times in the exclusion zone located on the territory of Belarus, compared to other uncontaminated areas.

This witnessed boom in the number of animals in the region - which was declared a prohibited destination for humans after the accident - indicates that radiation pollution does not prevent wildlife from multiplying and thriving.

The number of wolves has increased seven times in the exclusion zone compared to other uncontaminated areas (Reuters)
The number of wolves has increased seven times in the exclusion zone compared to other uncontaminated areas (Reuters)
And Vronska said last March that the authorities are considering turning this uninhabited area into a vital area to protect and study the animal populations that endemic to the region, which will become the largest reserve on the European continent.

In the middle of a vast exclusion zone in northern Ukraine, the world's largest mobile barrier is being built to prevent the spread of deadly radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for the next 100 years.

Exposure to radiation for long periods leads to serious diseases, while doctors in the areas most affected by the Chernobyl disaster said they had detected a sharp rise in the rates of certain types of cancer.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • SnO locked this topic
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.