This article was written by Melisssa Breyer and first appeared on TreeHugger It's hard to find a bright side to the world's worst-ever nuclear disaster, but wildlife may beg to differ. After the 1986 fire and explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released radioactive particles into the atmosphere, everyone left, never to return. But now researchers studying animal populations have made a seriously counterintuitive discovery:
The Chernobyl site looks less like a disaster zone and "more like a nature preserve," rife with elk, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, foxes, wolves, and others.
"It's very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident," says Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth in the UK. "This doesn't mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming, and forestry, are a lot worse."
Human beings are worse for wildlife than nuclear disaster. That's pretty sobering...