In 1986, the biggest nuclear accident in history occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, releasing massive amounts of radioactive particles across the USSR and Europe. It uprooted the lives of 500,000 plant workers.
But today, Chernobyl is garnering attention for a much cuddlier reason. As part of an effort to study the lingering effects of radioactivity in the area, scientists at TREE have set up a network of cameras in 84 locations on a nature preserve. Unintentionally, the researchers stumbled upon some amazing candid photos of local wildlife. Thankfully, they”re decidedly adorable, normal animals and not mutant piles of radioactive goop.
In the first four months that the cameras were installed, scientists caught over 10,000 beautiful photos of animals like these. They prove that nature is stubbornly carrying on even after the devastating Chernobyl disaster.
The fact the animals are returning to the 30-kilometer zone is a really good sign that radioactivity in the area is dwindling.
The Przewalski”s horse is an endangered species that was reintroduced to the area as part of the conservation effort.
The network will help scientists track the animals so that they can eventually install collars that will monitor their exposure levels.
Until the system”s night cams caught these photos of grizzly bears, researchers had no idea the fuzzy guys had returned to Chernobyl.
You can check out more pictures and learn more about the TREE project on their website. The half-life of the radioactivity in Chernobyl may be daunting, but it”s a good sign that the animals see this as a viable habitat once again.