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BELARUS-CHERNOBYL/WILDLIFE
RTSDTLV
April 06, 2016
A woodpecker looks out of a hollow in a tree in the 30 km (19 miles) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl...
BABCHIN, Belarus
The Wider Image: Chernobyl - wilderness regained
A woodpecker looks out of a hollow in a tree in the 30 km (19 miles) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor near the abandoned village of Babchin, Belarus, April 3, 2016. What happens to the environment when humans disappear? Thirty years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, booming populations of wolf, elk and other wildlife in the vast contaminated zone in Belarus and Ukraine provide a clue. On April 26, 1986, a botched test at the nuclear plant in Ukraine, then a Soviet republic, sent clouds of smouldering radioactive material across large swathes of Europe. Over 100,000 people had to abandon the area permanently, leaving native animals the sole occupants of a cross-border "exclusion zone" roughly the size of Luxembourg. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH "WILD CHERNOBYL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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