As noted in the video, the wolves are so toxic that researchers have to be extremely careful handling them as any contact will lead to radiation poisoning.
Source: Sky News
Mutant wolves roaming the deserted streets of Chernobyl appear to have developed resistance to cancer – raising hopes the findings can help scientists fight the disease in humans.
A nuclear reactor exploded at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine in 1986 – with more than 100,000 people evacuated from the city as the blast released cancer-causing radiation.
The area has remained eerily abandoned ever since, with the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) put in place to prevent people from entering a 1,000-square-mile area where the radiation still poses a cancer risk.
Humans may not have returned, but wildlife such as wolves and horses roam the wastelands of the evacuated city more than 35 years after the disaster.
The animals live despite being exposed to radiation levels six times the maximum limit for humans.
Cara Love, an evolutionary biologist and ecotoxicologist at Princeton University in the US, has been studying how the Chernobyl wolves survive despite generations of exposure to radioactive particles.
The researchers discovered that Chernobyl wolves are exposed to upwards of 11.28 millirem of radiation every day for their entire lives – which is more than six times the legal safety limit for a human.
Ms Love found the wolves have altered immune systems similar to cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment, but more significantly she also identified specific parts of the animals’ genetic information that seemed resilient to increased cancer risk.