Swans, birds of prey, ravens, and songbirds have all been spotted in the exclusion zone as well, despite lower populations of beneficial wing bacteria.
A subspecies of wild horse, Przewalski’s horses, was introduced to the Palieski State Radioecological Reserve, just outside the Chernobyl exclusion zone bordered with Belarus, in 1998 in an effort to save the species. Today, the population is rising steadily in the absence of human activity.
Because both hunting and fishing are prohibited in the exclusion zone, it’s not just the animals on land and in the air that are experiencing population growth. In the Pripyat River, catfish and beaver populations are higher than they have been in 100 years.