Life Finds A Way: Fukushima’s Feral Pets & Livestock

Pets, livestock and other animals abandoned near Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant three years ago seem to be thriving today, but do appearances deceive?

A World Gone To The Dogs

(image via: Re.Actor)

The 1962 exploitation documentary film Mondo Cane (roughly, “World Gone To The Dogs”) which showcased bizarre human cultural practices in little-known corners of the world had little or nothing to do with dogs per se. A half-century later, the depopulated Fukushima Exclusion Zone has become a much more accurate depiction of what might expect knowing only the Italian-made travelogue’s title: a bizarre world without people where dogs are, well, the top dogs.

(images via: Discovery News, Gizmodo Australia and The Seattle Times)

As dogs have much shorter lifespans than humans, a mere three years is all it takes for the Zone’s almost 6,000 abandoned dogs (according to the official registry; actual numbers may be three times as many) to go feral. Though many have starved, been cannibalized or escaped the Exclusion Zone completely, those that remain have formed packs and now fear people. Perhaps the latter is a blessing whereas the former is a curse.

Ahead By A Neck

(images via: The Guardian, Magdalena Solé and The Malaysian Insider)

A mutated, gigantified sparrow, perhaps? Nope, just an ostrich, one of several obliviously roaming the Exclusion Area in the aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear disaster. Ostriches were farmed in the area before the catastrophe and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant “adopted” them to be their mascots in happier bygone days. Photographer Magdalena Solé visited the area in 2012 and stumbled upon the ostrich above. Solé stated the ostrich approached her without trepidation “as if she was just happy to see a human.” Or, maybe it was just hungry.


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