Saturday, 29 November 2014

Brown bears return to Chernobyl after a century away

28 November 2014 Last updated at 01:23

By Mark Kinver
Environment reporter, BBC News

Scientists have captured what is believed to be the first photographic evidence of brown bears within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ).

Camera traps, used by a project assessing radioactive exposure impacts on wildlife, recorded the images.

Brown bears had not been seen in the area for more than a century, although there had been signs of their presence.

The exclusion zone was set up after an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in April 1986.

"Our Ukrainian colleague, Sergey Gashchak, had several of his camera traps running in one of our central areas over the past few months in order to start to get a feel for what (wildlife) was there," explained project leader Mike Wood from the University of Salford.

He told BBC News that data retrieved from one of the cameras in October contained images of a brown bear.

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