12:06 GMT +318 August 2019
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    This April 2012 photo shows a wolf in a forest within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone; elk, deer, wild boar, wolves and even wild horses now roam free where some 20,000 people once lived.

    Thirty-Three Years After Disaster, Animal Life Is Thriving in Chernobyl

    © AP Photo / Sergiy Gaschak
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    Ever since the disaster at the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant in then-Soviet Ukraine in 1986, the animals living inside the exclusion zone have flourished despite its high levels of radiation. The near-complete absence of human beings is thought to be the reason for this, according to a new documentary.

    A camera crew filming an Our Planet documentary on the flora and fauna within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has managed to capture footage of wild animals roaming freely in the deserted area. The cameramen even managed to film rare Przewalski's horses pacing slowly along the abandoned streets. But the surprises didn't end there; a pack of wolves was also spotted roaming in the forest. Their return, the documentary states, could be attributed to the forest teaming with life. According to the programme, the prevalence of wolves within the zone is seven times that of the surrounding region due to the near-complete absence of their principal rival apex predators: human beings.

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