A 9.0 magnitude earthquake shook Japan, triggering a tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Radioactive material started leaking out of the facility, becoming the second largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
People had to evacuate from Fukushima, and livestock were ordered to be culled by the government. However, owners were too attached to their herds to follow through.
The animals are being studied by researchers to determine the long-term effects of low-level radiation on livestock.
This research is the first of its kind.
The cattle have been grazing pasture roughly seven miles northwest of the crippled nuclear power plant.
Every three months, the cows are tested by the researchers.
So far, the animals’ internal organs and reproductive functions have shown no significant abnormalities, but it’s too early to draw conclusions about thyroid cancer and leukemia.