In January 2021, a image of a unusual, four-legged animal appeared in a web based commercial in regards to the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear-reactor catastrophe in Ukraine. The advert claimed: “There Are a New Animal Species Taking Over at Chernobyl.”

Encyclopedia Brittanica published that the Chernobyl incident was “the worst disaster in the history of nuclear power generation.” reported a lot the identical:

Chernobyl is a nuclear energy plant in Ukraine that was the location of a disastrous nuclear accident on April 26, 1986. A routine check on the energy plant went horribly fallacious, and two huge explosions blew the 1,000-ton roof off one of many plant’s reactors, releasing 400 instances extra radiation than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The worst nuclear catastrophe in historical past killed two staff within the explosions and, inside months, no less than 28 extra could be lifeless by acute radiation publicity. Eventually, 1000’s of individuals would present indicators of well being results—together with most cancers—from the fallout.

However, the clickbait image within the advert didn’t depict a “new animal species” that was “taking over at Chernobyl.” The ensuing 30-page slideshow article didn’t even point out the {photograph}.

In actuality, it confirmed a spectacled (hairless) Andean bear named Dolores.

Photo through SEBASTIAN WILLNOW/DDP/AFP through Getty Images
Photo through SEBASTIAN WILLNOW/DDP/AFP through Getty Images

They got here “from the Andean mountains of Ecuador, Peru, and northern Bolivia.”

The bears – named Dolores, Bianca, and Lolita – are affected by itchiness as properly, so animal keepers apply ointments to appease their pores and skin.

“This problem with the spectacled bears is not just in Leipzig [Zoo],” Mr. Noetzhold informed the BBC World Service. “There are other zoos in Europe and overseas having the same problem. And so we’ve had an international working group of zoo vets looking at this for some time already.”

Gerard Baars, director of the International Bear Foundation, mentioned he had by no means seen such a situation earlier than. “I could hardly believe it is a bear although I have been dealing with bears all my life,” he informed the BBC’s Europe Today programme.

The image within the commercial was maybe chosen for the rationale talked about by Baars. Even the director of the International Bear Foundation didn’t comprehend it was a bear. Readers who noticed the advert probably wouldn’t initially establish the animal as a bear, both.

Jan Woitas and the European Pressphoto Agency have been credited for the {photograph} that was used within the advert. It seemed to be from 2009.

Also on Nov. 5, 2009, the Associated Press posted a video of Dolores, Bianca, and Lolita on the Leipzig Zoo. The zoo official, who was not recognized, spoke of analysis that was underway in regards to the situation with the bears. He additionally talked about that different zoos had seen related issues with such bears.

At least two blogs talked about that Dolores died in 2011. We have been unable to verify this data with any credible supply. However, one factor we will say for certain is that she was not a “new species” that was “taking over at Chernobyl.”

For additional studying, Scientific American reported on the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in December 2020. The story checked out the opportunity of “lingering radiation effects on animal populations.”


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