A recent viral video of a fox eating a stack of bread in Chernobyl has renewed attention to the wildlife in the radioactive exclusion zone.
Since the disaster in 1986, scientists have conducted research on the wildlife of the region to better understand the effect radiation has. With a future of nuclear power being a possibility, this is valuable knowledge.
Findings show that certain species have seen a higher number of genetic abnormalities than what would be normal, along with issues with breeding and reproduction. However Wildlife returned to the area quicker and stronger than expected.
Scientists have mentioned that after the radiation levels had subsided to “safer” levels, the lack of human presence has provided the opportunity for wildlife to thrive; with the benefits of no human contact outweighing the survival issues caused by the radiation.
A doll and a gas mask are pictured on a bed in one of the kindergarten of the ghost city of Pripyat on April 18, 2011. In the heart of Chernobyl, Ukrainian specialists regularly venture inside the concrete cover sheltering the ruined reactor after it exploded on April 26, 1986 to check its structure and radiation levels.