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Scientists have captured what is said to be the first photographic evidence of brown bears within the Chornobyl exclusion zone in northern Ukraine.

Project leader Mike Wood from the University of Salford, Britain, told the BBC on November 28 that the images were recorded by camera traps used by a project assessing radioactive exposure impacts on wildlife.

Brown bears had not been seen in the area for more than a century, but there had been signs of their presence.

On April 26, 1986, a powerful explosion tore through Chornobyl's nuclear power plant, releasing large amounts of radioactive chemicals into the air.

After the blast, a 30 kilometer-radius exclusion zone was established around the damaged nuclear plant and tens of thousands of people were moved from their homes.

Based on reporting by the BBC
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