Free Range Free Chat

Welcome to Free Range Free Chat, our NV focus on the news of the day about all animals all the time, from land, sky and sea.

Oh okay, we’ll include bugs if we must, and I know, I know, humans are animals too, so basically, Free Range is about our blue planet, teeming with life.

As an open thread, what you have is what we want, pet stories are always welcome and there’s not much I’d consider off-topic. Just keep video clips short– a couple of minutes at most– otherwise, they might not get watched.

My name for this? “Teeming with Life”. MOMA calls it the Tanzaku Poem Cards by Japanese Artist Shibata Zeshin, (1870-90)

On March 11, 2011, 10 years ago last week, Japan experienced Nature’s Triple Threat:

It’s been ten years since we saw the second-worst nuclear accident in history—after Chernobyl—at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northeastern Japan after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake shook the ground for six minutes. Less than an hour later, a tsunami pummeled the country’s northern shores, bringing walls of seawater over 120 feet high, which flooded places six miles inland. Inundated emergency generators at the nuclear power plant failed, leading to a meltdown and subsequent explosion of three reactors. More than 160,000 people fled a 310-square-mile area—the size of New York City—surrounding the plant as radioactive fallout spread. Many still have not returned home.

National Geographic

What’s been the fate of the animals? The sudden disappearance of people had an unexpected upside for nature: Over the past decade, animals and plants have reclaimed the exclusion zone, where radiation levels are still too high for humans to return safely.

Though wildlife does not appear to be affected by the radiation, we can’t say for certain whether that’s true, now or in the future. . . . .[however] these living things seem to be more affected by the presence of humans than by radiation.

Cats rescued by Sakae Kato, one of two men living in the area, rest in a cage at Kato’s home, in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, February 20, 2021. Kato, who is not pictured, looks after 41 cats on his property. A decade ago, he stayed behind to rescue cats abandoned by neighbors who fled the radiation clouds from nearby Fukushima nuclear plant. He won’t leave. “I want to make sure I am here to take care of the last one,” Kato said. “After that I want to die, whether that be a day or hour later.” REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Pictured is Naoto Matsumura who came back after being told to evacuate because he couldn’t eave his own animals to starve. He and one other man, who lives in the area, found abandoned pets, injured animals and as time passed, a variety of wild animals who appear to be flourishing, although research is still being done in that area.
Matsumura, who is 55 years old, knows that the radiation is harmful, but he “refuses to worry about it. “They also told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less”
Matsumura discovered that thousands of cows had died locked in barns
He relies solely on donations from supporters to work with and feed the animals and the animals rely on him for food. . . . .
University of Georgia video veeds from the exclusion zone around the nuclear plant.

Source: Japan Times and Awesome Inventions and National Geographic and scitechdaily and Reuters and BoredPanda