More share buttons
Share on Pinterest

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Share on Pinterest

“I had no choice but to stay,”

In 2011, Fukushima, Japan was due to a radioactive meltdown of a nuclear plant caused by an earthquake and tsunami.

In 2011, Fukushima, Japan was evacuated due to a radioactive meltdown of a nuclear plant caused by an earthquake and tsunami.

Yoko Hatake / Via facebook.com

Matsumura in Tomoika station, which was destroyed by the tsunami.

Around 30,000 people fled the zone, but most of the animals were left behind. A farmer named Naoto Matsumura returned to take care of them.

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Facebook: ganbaru.fukushima

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

facebook.com

 

Matsumura says he initially evacuated with his family, but it was so difficult to find refuge he decided to return. It was then that he realized how many animals were left behind and needed help.

“I had no choice but to stay,” Matsumura toldVice. “I couldn’t leave the animals behind. They needed to be fed.”

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Via facebook.com

He found that thousands of animals had died from being left in their barns or chained up without food or water.

Matsumura, who is a former construction worker, built and repaired areas for the animals to reside in safely. He spends his days exploring his deserted town, feeding and caring for the animals with money donated by supporters.

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Keiko Nasu / Via facebook.com

Matsumura mostly remains in the exclusion zone, but he often gives speeches and press conferences in outside cities to spread awareness about how his town has suffered, and gather support for his animals.

“We were told that evacuating poses a bigger risk than the radiation,” Matsumura said. “Looking back I think the mayor committed a terrible mistake here.”

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Keiko Nasu / Via facebook.com

“You could probably ride these,” he told VICE about his ostriches.

The 55-year-old told the BBC that he is aware he is constantly being exposed to radiation, but isn’t concerned, though he does only consume food grown outside Tomoika.

“They told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years,” he said, “I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less.”

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Via facebook.com

The government issued him a warning to leave the exclusion zone, but Matsumura has remained there for over four years without wavering.

“The government is also attempting to have the cattle remaining in the contaminated area slaughtered,” Matsumura said.

He insists that the animals are healthy and happy, thanks to him, and have no reason to be killed. “Why slaughter them if not for human consumption?” He asked Vice. “To me animals and people are equal.”

This Man Went To Live In A Radioactive Town To Care For The Abandoned Animals

Via Facebook: ganbaru.fukushima

Source: buzzfeed.com