Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 18, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 18, 2013 



GEMMA #A4574637

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

 April 26, 1986 is a date in history 
that holds rather grave memories 
for those who bore witness to the 
news broadcasts that aired that 
day on unprecedented global 
significance, the likes of which 
could not have possibly been 
anticipated by an average citizen 
such as myself. Much like the 
tragic events that unfolded on 
the morning of September 11, 
2001, what happened on April 
26, 1986 is an historic event that 
has been, and will continue to be 
memorialized and analyzed for 
decades to come.

 I wish I could say I remember 
where I was when I heard the 
news that the Chernobyl Nuclear 
Power plant in the Ukraine city 
of Prypiat had experienced a 
total melt down at Block 4, but 
I can’t. I was 23 years old at the 
time, and I should have been 
paying closer attention to what 
mattered, such as environmental 
threats and the like, but I was a 
rather self-absorbed young lady 
back then, with little time to 
attend to what was going on in 
the world around me. I had no 
idea what kind of impact that 
disaster would ultimately have 
on our planet. Knowing there 
was nothing I could do to change 
what had happened, I suppose I 
took the path of least resistance 
and wrote it off as just another 
glamorous, over-inflated news 
flash. Now, I would like to think 
that I have graduated into a more 
global-conscious individual, 
and I make it my business to be 
aware of what’s “going on”. I have 
no doubt that anyone of the age 
to remember this turn of events 
would agree that it was a disaster 
of epic proportion which, if we 
had known better, we would have 
done everything in our power to 

 The radioactive impact of 
Chernobyl’s melt-down is said 
to have been equal to 400 times 
that of the 1945 atomic bombing 
at Hiroshima. More 
than 400,000 citizens 
of Prypiat were 
rendered homeless, 
and forced out of 
what they now call 
the “Exclusion Zone” where 
radioactive levels still remain 
exponentially dangerous to this 
day. Numerous cancer-associated 
deaths were attributed to the 
event, subsequent to evacuation, 
due to radioactivity exposure. 
After evacuating the 20+ mile 
span of contaminated land 
authorities fenced it off and 
secured it as un-inhabitable to the 
human being.

 Now, 25 years later, it seems the 
most interesting and educational 
part of this event is the fact 
that in the absence of human 
intervention, hundreds of healthy 
wild animals are proliferating 
and thriving in the ’zone’ with 
no apparent mutations or health 
complications! The question 
begs, “How many places are 
there on earth where humans are 
not interrupting, mediating or 
intervening between the animals 
and nature? The fact that human 
habitation is prohibited in the 
‘Chernobyl Zone’, has rendered it 
as a very unique scientific study 
for how nature and wildlife may 
or may not thrive in such an area, 
without human intervention. 
Amazingly, in spite of the high 
level of radioactivity proven to 
prevail in the ‘zone’, wild animals, 
particularly wolves, deer and 
beaver who live there, have 
succeeded in proliferating and 
thriving in their natural habitats, 
better than most other locations 
where they might be found on 
this planet!

 Among the few visitors allowed 
to venture into the “contaminated, 
radioactive, abandoned zone”, are 
a handful of scientists on a quest 
to research how nature thrives (or 
not) after a nuclear disaster, in 
the absence of the human. Visits 
are kept short, and radioactive-
resistant protective gear, designed 
to help prevent exposure is 
enforced. Remarkably, scientists 
have reported data that indicates 
that the wild animals living in the 
‘zone’ are proliferating, and living 
in a healthier manner than they 
might in their other indigenous 

 Why? Well, the general 
consensus is because there are 
no human beings getting in 
their way. I, myself am inclined 
to consider the “Chernobyl 
Zone” a virtual garden of Eden 
that should remain human-less. 
Remarkably, regardless of the level 
of radioactivity scientists have 
gauged on sedated wolves, the 
wolves themselves are apparently 
quite healthy and living more 
normal lives than where you 
might find them anywhere else 
on earth. My thought is that the 
results of the research studies 
from today’s “Chernobyl Zone” 
indicate a rather oxy-moronic 
manifestation of nature meant 
to teach humans that it is best to 
leave wildlife a little space and 
allow it to overcome disastrous 
conditions on its own. Or, it could 
have been an epic act of nature’s 
tenacity; a sort of miraculous 
event that took place to teach 
us humans a humble lesson for 
better behavior in the future.

 Regardless of the explanation for 
such unexpected ‘life-after-death‘ 
conditions in an uninhabitable 
zone, one would be hard pressed 
to deny the fact that the human’s 
absence has had a very positive 
effect on the wildlife’s ability to 
thrive and survive. Take it for 
face value, and judge for yourself. 
Either way, 25 years later, in 
the wake of what we consider 
to be an epic global disaster, it 
is remarkable to find that the 
wild animals still residing in the 
’zone’ have found a way to revive 
their livelihood without the help 
or intervention of the 2-legged 
being. Such a scientific study 
should not be taken lightly, and 
while past history cannot be re-
constructed, the future lies before 
us. Let us use the lessons we learn 
along the way, and proceed in a 
more gracious manner to allow 
all of earth’s life forms to thrive 
and survive. I think we humans 
got lucky this time, but who 
knows what is to come?

Meet a cute and playful pup, Gemma 
(A4574637). Gemma is a gorgeous three 
month old gray female Weimaraner/Pit Bull 
mix puppy who was found in Industry on 
May 9th and brought to the Baldwin Park 
Animal Care Center. Weighing twenty-four 
pounds and likely to grow to fifty pounds, 
this wonderful girl with the constantly 
wagging tail is a gem! She is fine with other 
dogs and we think she would be great with 
kids. Gemma is the perfect indoor pet for 
an active individual or family living in a 
private home. To watch a video of Gemma 
please visit this link:

To meet Gemma in person, please see her at 
the Baldwin Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. 
Elton, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-
430-2378 or 626-962-3577). She is currently 
available now. For any inquiries about 
Gemma, please reference her animal ID 
number: A4559566. The shelter is open seven 
days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday 
and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is a high-
intake shelter with a great need for adoptions. For more information about Gemma or the adoption 
process, please contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ partnership with the 
Baldwin Park Shelter through its Shelter Support Program, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, 
ages, and sizes available for adoption in local shelters, visit