The Brown Bear Returns to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

The Brown Bear Returns to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

by Sangeeta Haindl
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Exciting news: A once familiar face returns to the #Chernobyl Exclusion Zone #conservation more on @Justmeans

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 4:00pm



Exciting news: scientists have captured what is believed to be the first photographic evidence of brown bears within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), an area set up after one of the world's worst nuclear accidents at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in April 1986. This brown bear sighting is the first time one has been spotted in the area for a 100 years! After the 1986 explosion, more than 110,000 people were moved from their homes and a 30km-radius exclusion zone was established around the damaged nuclear reactor. Scientists are now studying the area to understand the risks that radioactivity poses to humans and wildlife. This cordoned area has become an eco-haven; the absence of humans has turned this space into a wildlife sanctuary.

The area has provided a valuable source of data for scientific research into the impact of radioactive contamination. The brown bear pictures were obtained by Sergey Gaschak, a Ukrainian collaborator with the British-run TREE (TRansfer, Exposure, Effects) research programme into the effects of radioactivity. Project leader Mike Wood from the University of Salford told BBC News, 'We are basically working on the assumption that as you move people out of the equation and human pressure and disturbance is removed, then any animals that have a corridor into the exclusion zone find they are suddenly away from the pressures and dangers presented by people.'

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Sangeeta Haindl writes on social innovation, social enterprise, and social entrepreneurs. She is the owner of Serendipity PR, in London, U.K., where she works with high-profile brands and organizations in the public, non-profit, and corporate sectors, winning awards for her work from the communications industry. She describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur, Conscious Explorer, and Futurist. She enjoys helping others, paying it forward, and being a mum.