Humans, it turns out, pose a bigger threat to animals than radiation. The Chernobyl nuclear reactor blew up 30 years ago on Tuesday, sending a radioactive cloud over much of Europe and prompting the resettlement of 350,000 people from the area around the plant.
But animals thrive there, NBC News reported.
The wolf population is actually seven times bigger than in Ukraine's official nature reserves, which indicates that the predators have plenty to feed on, said the study's coauthor Jim Beasley of the University of the Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.
Some European bison, blissfully unaware of national borders after having been reintroduced in neighboring Belarus after a century of extinction in the wild, have also crossed into Ukraine.