The stray dogs of Chernobyl

An estimated 900 stray dogs live in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, many of them likely the descendants of dogs left behind following the mass evacuation of residents in the aftermath of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

Volunteers, including veterinarians and radiation experts from around the world, are participating in an initiative called the Dogs of Chernobyl, launched by the nonprofit Clean Futures Fund.

Participants capture the dogs, study their radiation exposure, vaccinate them against parasites and diseases including rabies, tag the dogs and release them again into the exclusion zone.

Some dogs are also being outfitted with special collars equipped with radiation sensors and GPS receivers in order to map radiation levels across the zone. (Getty Images)

Photography by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A stray dog stands at a monument outside the new, giant enclosure that covers devastated reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Tagged stray dogs lounge outside a cafeteria at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A sign warns of radiation contamination in a forest in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, in Pripyat, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Stray dogs hang out near an abandoned, partially completed cooling tower at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A stray dog tagged and wearing a collar equipped with a GPS sensor and a radiation sensor lies in the grass outside a makeshift veterinary clinic near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Stray dogs seek a handout of food outside the workers cafeteria at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 17, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Buildings stand in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, in Pripyat, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Sergey Shamray, a worker at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, tosses pieces of bread to stray dogs outside the workers cafeteria inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A dog catcher holds a tranquilizer dart he had just used in an attempt to capture a stray dog inside the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 17, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A tagged stray dog sniffs for food in a trash can outside the workers cafeteria inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Stray puppies play in an abandoned, partially completed cooling tower inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Pavel “Pasho” Burkatsky, a professional dog catcher from Kiev, takes aim with a blow gun to shoot a tranquilizer dart at a stray dog in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. Burkatsky was taking part in the Dogs of Chernobyl project launched by the Clean Futures Fund, a U.S.-based charity that pursues humanitarian projects at Chernobyl. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Anna Sovtus, a Ukrainian veterinarian working with the Dogs of Chernobyl initiative, reaches for stray puppies in an enclosure at a makeshift veterinary clinic inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone on Aug. 17, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Pavel “Pasho” Burkatsky, a professional dog catcher from Kiev, takes aim with a blow gun to shoot a tranquilizer dart at a stray dog in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 17, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Marie-Louise Chenery, who is from San Diego,and is a volunteer with the Dogs of Chernobyl initiative, tends to stray puppies near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 17, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Workers on a break watch a stray dog saunter by outside an administrative building inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Pavel “Pasho” Burkatsky, a professional dog catcher from Kiev, releases stray puppies that have been neutered and vaccinated inside the exclusion zone next to workers’ dormitories near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Burkatsky was taking part in the Dogs of Chernobyl project launched by the Clean Futures Fund, a U.S.-based charity that pursues humanitarian projects at Chernobyl. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Workers on a break pet a stray dog they have named Bulka outside an administrative building inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Nastya Grabchuk, left, a Ukrainian medical student volunteering with the Dogs of Chernobyl initiative, and Meredith Ayan, executive director of SPCA International, a U.S.-based animal rescue nonprofit, tend to stray puppies recovering from a sedative after surgery and vaccinations at a makeshift veterinary clinic inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone on Aug. 17, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A tagged stray dog walks past a tourist at a monument to firemen who fought to contain the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster inside the exclusion zone near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A tagged stray dog stands near the new, giant enclosure that covers devastated reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 17, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Anna Sovtus, a Ukrainian veterinarian working with the Dogs of Chernobyl initiative, tends to a stray puppy she had just washed in the bathroom sink at a makeshift veterinary clinic inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone on Aug. 17, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A “frisker” Geiger counter used to measure radiation shows a reading of 124 counts, approximately 20 times higher than normal, on the paws of an anesthetized stray female dog at a makeshift veterinary clinic operated by the Dogs of Chernobyl initiative inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone on Aug. 17, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Stray dogs loiter inside the high-security “local zone” outside the giant new enclosure that covers devastated reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Stray dogs hang out near an abandoned, partially completed cooling tower at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Stray puppies play in an abandoned, partially-completed cooling tower inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A tagged stray dog sniffs for food in a trash can outside the workers’ cafeteria inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Marie-Louise Chenery, a volunteer with the Dogs of Chernobyl initiative from San Diego, tends to stray puppies near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as the abandoned construction site of reactors five and six stands behind on Aug. 17, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A stray puppy walks along abandoned train tracks near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

Administration worker Lyudmila Ivanovna greets stray puppies inside the exclusion zone at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 18, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A tagged stray dog lies among tourists about to board a bus inside the exclusion zone near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, 2017, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The stray dogs of Chernobyl

A stray dog stands near the new, giant enclosure that covers devastated reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Aug. 17, 2017, near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes