WPY 2018

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2018

Urban Wildlife

Adrian Bliss, UK

School Visit

Lying ruined and looted, the city of Pripyat is within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which was established after the nuclear disaster of 1986. Devoid of humans, the city has surrendered to nature. This red fox trotted into the derelict classroom, stopping briefly on the carpet of child-sized gas masks just long enough for a picture. Seeing it was ‘completely unexpected,’ says Adrian.

The long-term effects of the Chernobyl disaster are still far from clear. But, in the absence of humans, Pripyat appears to be thriving. The forest encroaches on all sides of the city, encouraging wild boar, beavers, otters, deer and moose. With radiation levels still high, only time will tell if this natural regeneration is a sign of hope for this bleak place.

Technical specification

Sony RX1Rii + 35mm f2 lens; 1/125 sec at f3.2; ISO 2000


Pripyat, Ukraine : latitude 51.40732, longitude 30.050535 Pripyat, Ukraine : latitude 51.40732, longitude 30.050535

Pripyat, Ukraine

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.



Love this image?

Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.

Top five favourites