The quiet victims of Chornobyl

Geiger Dog

Semi-feral dogs living around the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have to contend with predatory wolves, starvation, rabies and other diseases. In February 2022, they found themselves in a war zone, as occupying Russian troops temporarily took control of the site. Amidst this, a team of researchers is studying their DNA in an effort to understand the consequences of living in the radioactive Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. The researchers, a charity they created, and plant workers, are also helping to feed and to provide medical attention to the dogs and some cats, descendants of pets abandoned in the aftermath of the 1986 nuclear disaster. The study focuses on distinct family groups of dogs around the plant and further away. (Headline photo courtesy of Clean Futures Fund.)


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