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Few wild animals lived in the region in 1986; their habitats had been destroyed for Soviet dairy farms and pine plantations. But large mammals started appearing almost immediately after the evacuations, and the animal populations soon exploded.
Roe deer and wild boar caught here in the early 1990s packed more than 2,000 times the safety norms for cesium-137 in meat. Though internal radiation levels have since dropped dramatically, some animals recently tested in Belarus still exceeded safe levels by dozens of times.
Yes, a huge swath of what is now Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia was blanketed by dangerous radiation. And hundreds of thousands of people—entire towns—were relocated.
But within a 1,100-square-mile (2,850-square-kilometer) area that remains cleared of most people and agriculture, the wildlife have moved in. A surprising variety of animals actually appear to be thriving in a landscape that is devoid of human activity. Scientists have observed that other species show signs of troubling genetic changes, evidence of the continuing long-term aftermath of what is still seen as the world's worst nuclear disaster.
it only makes sense that if the birds are eating irradiated food........ that means every time they poop... they are dropping little dirty bombs all over the place. A bird can fly a long ways in one day.