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Chernobyl: Not The Only Wildlife Spot With a Wild Past (Or Present)

Oct 12, 2015 07:41 PM EDT
A black-footed ferret, jumping
Black-footed ferrets and other animals live in a post-toxic space at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, not far from downtown Denver. This is one of several spots on the planet, along with Chernobyl, where animals thrive on land that is mostly free of humankind, following a troubled history.
(Photo : Flickr: USFWS Mountain-Prairie)

Wildlife is thriving at Chernobyl, as we learned from a recent study. Turns out that that nuclear-disaster site is not the only piece of human-free or human-light terrain now considered pretty sweet property by many animals.

A couple of others include:

The Guerilla Territory in Colombia and Panama called Darién Gap

In a 50-mile section along the border between those two countries, the Pan-American Highway does not extend. The area is wild rainforest, swamp and mountains that also serves as a haven for scattered guerillas, drug traffickers and migrants. The nearby 2,200 square miles of Panama's Darién National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to some of those individuals as well as the brown-headed spider monkey, great green macaw, harpy eagle and jaguar, according to John Wendle's article in

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado

The 25 square miles of this reserve not far from downtown Denver's high rises is a former chemical weapons production facility from World War II. Today it hosts American bison, black-footed ferrets and at least 330 other species on short-grass prairie. These include bald eagles, prairie dogs, many birds and plants.

"When they fenced in this place during the war, they also fenced in the deer herds and the coyotes, and their descendants have been here since this place was established," says Edward Tagliente, a park ranger who has worked for more than a decade at the reserve, according to the article.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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