Feeding the animals of Fukushima
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. 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.
(Source and text: BoredPanda: http://www.boredpanda.com/fukushima-radioactive-disaster-abandoned-animal-guardian-naoto-matsumura.
Naoto Matsumura lives in Tomiokia, a Town located in Futaba District, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 January 2011, the town had an estimated population of 15,839, with 6,293 households. However, as of December 2014 the entire population remains evacuated as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the town is effectively a ghost town. Tomioka was severely affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Besides sustaining considerable damage from the earthquake, and the tsunami (which devastated the coastal area), the town was evacuated en masse on the morning of March 12 as it is located well within the 20 kilometer exclusion radius around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Only one man, Naoto Matsumura, with his dog, refused to evacuation, and remained behind to feed the pets and livestock left behind in his neighborhood with supplies donated by support groups.