- When the Fukushima nuclear disaster happened years ago, residents were told to leave the vicinity for safety reasons.
- Naoto Matsumura and Sakae Kato, however, stayed within the exclusion zone to tend the animals left abandoned.
- What they do is illegal, but nothing can seem to stop the two from taking care of the stray animals.
When the Fukushima nuclear disaster happened 10 years ago, 160,000 residents were asked to escape. Apparently, only 159,998 listened — two stayed, not wanting to abandon stray animals.
Naoto Matsumura and Sakae Kato, who were strangers to each other, chose to stay for their love for animals. The two men would rather give up everything than know other beings are left to starve.
Matsumura and Kato, living within the 12.5-mile exclusion zone around the damaged reactor, live alone as they take care of dozens of wandering animals.
GNN reported Matsumura went back inside the exclusion zone in 2015. When he returned, he realized that residents’ pets and livestock were still there and that people were not coming back.
Right then and there, Matsumura knew he wanted to take care of the animals — ranging from pigs to cats, dogs, ponies, ostriches and cows. He went around the neighborhood, unchaining dogs from trees, letting cows out of their barns, and feeding every animal that needed food.
With his good will, Matsumura has earned the title the ‘Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals.’
Scientists from JAXA, the Japanese national space agency, said that Matsumura is also the most irradiated man in the country, which makes him ‘the champion.’
They told him that radiation will likely take 30-40 years before it completely wrecks his biology, which will most probably happen when he’s already dead.
The 55-year-old Guardian continues to feed the animals with the help of local donations. He keeps a blog to update people, using solar power as there’s no steady electricity in the area, as well as supply of running water.
On the other hand, 57-year-old Kato lives in his home in the mountains, along with his 41 cats and an adopted stray dog he named Pochi.
Kato said that he will stay with his cats and continue to take care of them. Besides attending to his pets’ needs, Kato also feeds local wild boars, which are considered pests by the government.
What Matsumura and Kato are doing is against government rules. Police ordered them to leave the area due to health risks, but both are seemingly unmoved. They are determined to stay with their animals and take care of them, whatever it takes.
Source: Good News Network