The untold human suffering and property damage left in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan has been well-documented, but there’s another population that suffered greatly that few have discussed – the animals left behind in the radioactive exclusion zone. One man, however, hasn’t forgotten – 55-year-old Naoto Matsumura, a former construction worker who lives in the zone to care for its four-legged survivors.
He is known as the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’ because of the work he does to feed the animals left behind by people in their rush to evacuate the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone. He is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but says that he “refuses to worry about it.” He does take steps, however, by only eating food imported into the zone.
See more about his work and what he has seen in the exclusion zone below!
Naoto Matsumura is the only human brave enough to live in Fukushima’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone
He fled at first but returned to take care of the animals that were left behind
He returned for his own animals at first, but realized that so many more needed his help, too
Matsumura, who is 55 years old, knows that the radiation is harmful, but he “refuses to worry about it”
“They also told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less”
Matsumura discovered that thousands of cows had died locked in barns
He also freed many animals that had been left chained up by their owners
Many of them now rely on him for food
The government has forbidden him from staying, but that doesn’t stop him either
He started in 2011 and is still going strong 4 years later
He relies solely on donations from supporters to work with and feed the animals
His supporters are calling him the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’
The man clearly has a sense of humor as well