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Nature: Radioactive Wolves
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Radiation level in this area is still high enough to make extended human residence almost impossible, as long term effects on health can be very negative, potentially even lethal. Divided between Ukraine and Belarus, this area covers a grand total of 4760 km2. Very few people live there, as the area was forcibly evacuated in 1986 - still, some people (mostly elderly) refused to leave and some returned later. This elderly population dwindled with time, but a handful of marginals, attracted by the isolation of the area, also came to live in "The Zone". According to the last estimations, there is probably around 500 people living there permanently in the Ukrainian part and probably as much in the Belarusian part.
When an area as large has barely one thousand inhabitants, the result is the creation of an "involuntary national park". Fields and later whole villages were reclaimed by the wilderness and are now covered with forest, shrubs and/or marshes. Even cities are now invaded by wildly growing vegetation. Rain and floods destroyed most of the irrigation system, returning most of the rivers and streams to their natural shape, with small shallow lakes and swamps present everywhere. The radiation doesn't seem to affect plants, at least on the surface of the things - but vegetables, fruits and especially mushrooms growing in "The Zone" are still considered improper for human consumption.
"Radioactive wolves" tries to find out what is the status of fauna in "The Zone". The approach adopted is that if the predators are thriving, then it means that the whole local ecosystem is doing fine.Read more ›
When people think of Chernobyl, they think of it as a a barren wasteland, possibly crawling with zombies and mutants, and radioactive spiders. There are no zombies at all, but there are plenty of creepy shots of abandoned cities, and half-destroyed socialist realist art, and deer walking through hallways. Perhaps the greatest surprise in store for the doomsday enthusiast is the unnerving normalcy of things post-apocalypse. As it turns out, people are far more detrimental to the natural world than nuclear fallout, and there are big, healthy animals running around all over the place.
The major flaw of the piece is also a strength in that it raises more questions than it answers. You feel a little cheated in that we never hear much about the re-introduction of the wisent or of Przewalski's Horse. We're only teased with the vaguest of references to poachers... yes, poachers who sneak into the Zone of Alienation to shoot critically endangered, and apparently radioactive, wild horses. I was annoyed that those storylines were neglected, but left looking forward hopefully to future documentary projects in this strange part of the world.
The information was all very good and informative though it did not explain how the animals are surviving around radiation (unless I missed it).
Footage-wise, this is roughly what you can expect:
Footage of People: 50%
Footage of Animals: 25%
Footage of abandoned stuff/nature: 25%
The film goes on to show us how beautiful nature can be, without people intruding in the balance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting! Not your normal, dry and informative documentary. Used this for my science class and EVERYONE watched all the way through!Published 5 months ago by Lori
A well done documentary. It was both interesting, entertaining and above all informative. I am very glad I have added it to my collection.Published 12 months ago by Lawrence J. Rupp
This is an excellent documentary. Very informative as well as interesting. I highly recommend it.Published 18 months ago by Racerocks 1
For the price of this DVD you really learn a lot about the wolves in the living conditionPublished 19 months ago by Chantal Reid
Very informative and great viewing for my family. We were, however, a little disappointed with the length. It was way too short.Published 21 months ago by Ondreyus Dotson
Saw the program on PBS.....great quality and detail pics of Russia. Our cat sat and watched the entire program. Decided to buy it for the cat. Read morePublished 22 months ago by John
Excellent documentary on the return of everything, except humans, to Chernobyl. Absolutely wonderful movie. Read morePublished on June 12, 2014 by dana
This video is great for a recap of the Chernobyl incident and shows biologists at work. Could work well for either physical or life science students. Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by Bexter