The radioactive zone near the Chernobyl nuclear plant became an unexpected thriving habitat for bears, lynxes and wild horses, among numerous other animals, AFP reported.
The evacuation of around 130,000 people within a very short period of time from the area of 4,140 km² surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant created a vacuum, which wild animals have eventually filled.
"Now these animals don't feel "stress" from human-caused activities, which they feel elsewhere," Denis Vyshnevskiy, a chief engineer at Chernobyl's exclusion zone, explained.
Wild horses, introduced in the past, are now thriving with around 100 animals grazing the fields near Chernobyl. Elk, wolves, bears and even lynxes, which were previously absent, have also returned to the area on their own accord, AFP said.
Brown bears, which haven't been seen in the area for over a century, are now back as well.
Looks like the nuclear catastrophe accidently created a well-functioning nature reserve. Does this mean that humans and our exploitation of environment are worse than a large-scale nuclear accident? Certainly, interesting food for thought.