60 min • History, Nature & Environment • 2007
What would happen if the world were suddenly without people – if humans vanished off the face of the earth? How would nature react – and how swiftly? Where humans move out, wildlife moves in. On the edge of Europe, a deserted location reveals the surprising answer. An abandoned village can change in a very short time into a sanctuary for plants, birds and animals. Shy and rare species, some thought to be on the brink of extinction, are found in robust good health. This is Chernobyl, deserted by humans after the worst nuclear disaster in history and now reclaimed by a remarkable collection of wildlife and the descendants of pets that were left in the city when the people fled. This revelatory film unmasks the surprising faces of the new inhabitants. Here wild animals face challenges in an environment totally outside their experience, while once domestic species must rediscover their wild natures.