NewsGolden jackals in Chernobyl: New species alters the Exclusion Zone

Golden jackals in Chernobyl: New species alters the Exclusion Zone

He appeared in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. "He had never been seen here before."
He appeared in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. "He had never been seen here before."
Images source: © Adobe Stock, Facebook

6:48 AM EDT, April 10, 2024

In the vicinity of the abandoned village of Łubianka, located within the western Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, researchers have stumbled upon animal tracks unlike any previously recorded. The distinctive feature of these tracks is their compact nature, with the foot of the quadruped showing nearly no space between the pads.

Scientists affiliated with the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve discovered in the area surrounding the lonely village of Lubianka, tracks of a species unfamiliar to this region, identified as the common or golden jackal.

A member of the canine family, the golden jackal shares some resemblance with wolves, although it is distinguishable by its notably narrower and more pointed muzzle and smaller stature.

Characterized by short, coarse fur, the jackal's coat exhibits shades ranging from gold to pale yellow, transitioning to brown at the limb extremities.

Adaptive and opportunistic, it primarily feeds on carrion and has remarkably adapted to new environments. This adaptability is evidenced by its significant range expansion since the onset of the 21st century, including Chernobyl.

The scientific team at the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve noted in a statement that, although they have observed the animal, capturing its image within the reserve has yet to be achieved.

Notably, the paw prints discovered, which have sparked interest due to their compact nature and the minimal space between the pads, distinguish them from those of wolves.

See also