In Disaster Zones, Animals Are Taking Over

In 2011, the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, occurred after an earthquake and tsunami hit the city. In the past 6 years, the radiation levels have been so high that the community, who had to abandon the town quickly, has not been able to return. Now in some areas, the Japanese government is allowing people to return. There is a wrinkle though: wild boars. These wild boars are quite aggressive and most don’t fear humans; and worse, they are radioactive. The government has been working to clear the boars so people can return.

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In the Chernobyl area, which is still almost completely unoccupied since a major nuclear disaster in 1986 forced humans to evacuate, animals are thriving, including endangered species. It’s not clear how the radiation is affecting animals, but the scientists studying the area agree that wildlife numbers have not fallen since the incident. Przewalski’s horse, which is a nearly extinct wild horse, has been purposefully introduced to the area to increase it’s numbers and it seems to be working.

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