New for #WPY54
won over our judges with this unusual image of a fox, taken in Chernobyl's exclusion zone. We'll be catching up with Adrian on this soon, so look out for more content on the story behind this eerie picture.
Adrian was exploring a derelict schoolroom when the red fox trotted in, perhaps curious about the human or perhaps just on its rounds. It stopped briefly on the carpet of child-sized gas masks, just long enough for a picture, and then exited through a broken window. The school in Pripyat, Ukraine, was abandoned in 1986, as was the whole city, following the catastrophic explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, just 3km away. It was the worst nuclear accident in history, spreading radioactive fallout across Europe.
The city lies within the 30km exclusion zone, which only accredited individuals can enter, and in the absence of humans, the forest is moving back in.
Though there were areas of the zone that Adrian was advised not to enter because radiation levels were still too high, and though the long-term effect of radiation on the animals is far from clear, wildlife appears to be thriving.
Image: School visit by Adrian Bliss, UK. Highly commended 2018, Urban Wildlife.
See Adrian's image at the @natural_history_museum
from 19 October. For tickets visit the link in our bio.
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