The process of rewilding was inspired by the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 where the surrounding environment in Northern Ukraine, was catastrophically devastated from the nuclear fallout. Currently, radioactivity levels remain too high for human habitation, however for the local fauna and flora it is a completely different story. Since the disaster, the last thirty years has transformed the deserted city into one of the world’s most intriguing nature reserves.
Chernobyl has now been reclaimed by wild boar, bison, elk and wolves, interestingly, all in much higher abundance than the surrounding area. Trees once decimated by radiation now sprout up, and plants cling to the abandoned buildings. There is still much debate as to the overall health of the animals and plants that reside there, nevertheless Chernobyl is a shining example of nature’s ability to rebound from an environmental disaster, and is the notion behind ‘rewilding’.