Chernobyl cows live on a large territory near the Ilya River in the western part of the exclusion zone. Once here, in the village of Lubyanka, self-settlers lived, but then people died, and the cows remained. Scientists have been monitoring the condition of the herd for more than three years and note that, despite the harsh conditions and the absence of human hands, the animals look extremely good. With the exception of the leader, who has a problem with his right eye, all cows, bulls and calves appear to be completely healthy.
Even more curious is that, unlike the usual rural herd, wild livestock is a structured and well-functioning community. Bugai and cows protect the calves, and they choose the safest place in the herd, surrounded by adult animals.
This is not the first wild herd in the exclusion zone. Immediately after the accident, in the vicinity of the village of Chistogalivka, there were cows abandoned by the owners who fled during the evacuation. Only a year later, the animals were transferred to the experimental farm in the village of Novye Shepelichi.
Observations of wild cows allow scientists to study their wild ancestors - turs, the last representative of which died in 1627 on the territory of Poland. Tours lived in the forest and steppe zone of Eurasia and played an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. Scientists call them "ecosystem engineers" and "living lawn mowers": tours ate annual plants, thus "weeding" the forest from weeds and returning nutrients to the soil with manure.