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Chernobyl Guards Have Befriended Abandoned Dogs, Feeding Them and Bringing Medical Care


Chernobyl Guards / Jonathon Turnbull

In the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, guards who watch over human intruders befriend and even care for the descendants of abandoned dogs when tens of thousands of people had to abandon their entire lives and flee when Reactor 4 exploded in 1986.

Your interactions, collected and documented through the work of the BBC., Tell the story of a spark of humanity that returns to a place devoid of it.

When Reactor 4 exploded 34 years ago, Pripyat residents were told to leave everything behind, including their pets. Jonathon Turnbull, a Ph.D. A candidate at Cambridge University, he lives in Kiev and has visited the 1,000-square-mile Exclusion Zone many times.

There he met a variety of unique guards in the world, those charged with ensuring that no one sneaks into a polluted wasteland. He learned that these guards had formed complex relationships with the semi-wild dogs that inhabited the Exclusion Zone.

His stories of feeding, naming, caring for, or completely avoiding various dogs based on temperament and personality fascinated Turnbull. For his research in geography, he asked if the guards would be willing to carry disposable cameras and photograph the dogs in their daily lives.

A snapshot of the story (s)

Chernobyl Guards / Jonathon Turnbull

“If I wanted to meet dogs,” Turnbull said BBC Future, “He needed to go to the people who knew them best, and those were the guards. “

His photographs are fascinating as they capture many interesting aspects of the lives of millions of ownerless canines around the world. Not quite wild, not quite tame, they roam cities and settlements in search of food. However, here in the Exclusion Zone, the personalities of the dogs are similar, but the environment is totally different.

While they have complete freedom, even roaming in and out of the Exclusion Zone, their lives are difficult. Harassed as they are by radiation, there are also packs of hungry wolves, bears, forest fires and man-made dangers.

The guards give them names, sometimes. Some dogs stay too far from patrol routes and guard posts to reveal themselves. There’s Arka, who shouldn’t be a pet, a sausage, who warms himself by napping on the heating vents, Tarzan, who supposedly does food tricks, and Alpha, who the guards explain is named after some kind of radiation.

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Their relationships with the guards, who feed them, remove ticks and even administer rabies shots, are as varied as they are. In some cases, they just want food, but the more talkative guards, who are not officially allowed to interact with dogs for fear of contamination, explain that they act as assistants in a way reminiscent of primitive man’s taming of wolves. .

Chernobyl Guards / Jonathon Turnbull

Barking in different shades at different things can warn guards of potential objects of interest, be it a wild animal, a human intruder, or a tourist vehicle.

“They make us happy,” said one of the guards. “For me personally, this is a kind of symbol of the continuation of life in this radioactive, post-apocalyptic world.”

GNN has reported on the men living in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. in Japan to take care of animals. There, as in Pripyat, thousands of animals remained.

Although one of them is the most irradiated man in Japan, scientists have told him that the radioactive mutations that would end his life will not arrive for 30-40 years, by which time it would be the mid-1980s.

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Taking care of animals brings you immense joy, and you can earn a living from donations and former pet owners who send you contributions over the Internet.

These heroes deserve recognition: they share their story on social media …


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