Chernobyl Disaster Forced Humans To Evacuate , But Not Wildlife (17 pics)
1Despite earlier studies that suggested wildlife in the region could also suffer from radiation, scientists have found no evidence to support these claims.
2Researchers think that wildlife returned to the area because it has been almost completely untouched by humans, which has allowed certain species to thrive.
3Many of the animals are taking advantage of the fact that there is no human life around.
4Scientists have found that the population of wolves is seven times greater here than in nearby reserves.
5Near the Belarus-Ukraine border, local livestock farmers are offering hunters an incentive to hunt the wolves who are killing their farm animals.
6Hunters like Belarusian hunter Vladimir Krivenchik and his wife make $80 per wolf they kill.
7In 2016, about 1,700 wolves were hunted and killed.
8Though the lingering radiation is unhealthy for the wildlife, the effects of human activity — like hunting, farming, and forestry — are worse on the animals.
9Larger mammals, such as bison, are more likely to live in this area than smaller mammals.
10The European brown bear — an animal that hasn't been seen here in over a century — has been documented as living in the region. The area's more popular animals, like bison, live in herds.
11Birds are a huge part of the wildlife surrounding Chernobyl.
12White-tailed eagles are common in the nuclear zone.
13There are even foxes walking around.
14Otters are found swimming in the rivers.
15Every day the area looks less like a disaster site and more like a nature preserve.
16There are still ongoing studies to find out if radiation has a negative effect on animals to the point where it will harm or kill them.