After almost 30 years since the nuclear explosion took place, the researchers discovered that Chernobyl comes back to life, as the animals started populating the area again.
In 1986, a reactor from Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located in Ukraine blew up, making radioactive chemicals spread on thousands of miles. Almost 116,000 people left their homes in the evacuation process.
30 years passed since the incident and the exclusion zones are still empty. Pripyat, a city near Chernobyl, had a population of over 50,000. Nowadays, the city resembles a ghost town.
The lack of human population, however, seems to be an advantage for animals, who became the ruling population in the area, researchers say.
The study was published on Monday in Current Biology journal and revealed that the zone is filled with animals such as roe deer and wolves.
Jim Smith, the study’s author, claimed that humans’ departure may have been a great benefit for these animals.
“That’s not saying radiation is good for animals, but human habitation, occupation, agriculture, forestry is worse,” he said.
The affected zone is situated between Ukraine and Belarus. The information used for this study was taken from the Polessye State Radioecological Reserve, which encloses approximately a half of the affected zone.
Between 1987 and 1996, researchers used a helicopter to count the number of elks, wild boar and roe deer. Since then, they could notice that their number increased rapidly due to the free area and large food supplies.
Concerning the number of animals, researchers made a comparison between Chernobyl and other protected sites in Belarus. They discovered that the number of animals is quite the same, except for wolves from Chernobyl, which seem to have outnumbered those from Belarus.
Other researchers claim to have found radioactive wild boar in Germany, but Smith believes that radioactivity is not a reason for the growing number of animals’ population.
Researchers mapped a 9-kilometer area in order to establish the negative effects of the contamination, but they couldn’t do it. As Smith added, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
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