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Brown Bear (Photo from ceh.ac.uk)

Brown bears and other critters have returned to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for the first time since they were recorded there 100 years ago. The researchers hope this can help to find a link between field radiation exposure and radiation effects.

The brown bears were captured by camera traps installed by researchers from the Transfer, Exposure, Effects (TREE) project.

“Dr. Sergey Gaschak, one of our Ukrainian collaborators, has obtained photographs of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Ukrainian CEZ [Chernobyl Exclusion Zone]. To our knowledge this is the first confirmation of this species in the area,”says a statement from the TREE website.

The Chernobyl area hasn’t seen brown bears for more than a century, TREE researchers say.

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Brown Bear (Photo from ceh.ac.uk)

The project head, Mike Wood from the University of Salford, told BBC news that the webcams clearly showed the brown bears. The species’ indigenous habitats include Russia, China, Canada and US (mostly Alaska).

“There have been suggestions that they existed there previously but, as far as we know, no-one has got photographic evidence of one being present on the Ukrainian side of the exclusion zone,” Dr Wood said.

Read more at RT News

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