The Fukushima disaster was a terrible nuclear catastrophe in 2011 that destroyed parts of northern Japan. According to the World Nuclear Association, out of the 100,000 people being evacuated, there were more than 1,000 deaths. And while that loss is heartbreaking enough, people were not the only ones who suffered through this.
Many forget that the lives of pets were also affected by this disastrous event. People's pets were left behind during evacuation and they, too, suffered a great loss. 55-year-old Naoto Matsumura recognizes that loss. Matsumura is commonly called the "guardian of Fukushima's animals" because of his tremendous effort to care for the animals left behind in the evacuation. And although he knew he would be exposed to high levels of radiation daily, he shows no concern.
Naoto Matsumura may be the bravest man in Japan, since he's willing to live inside a 12-mile radioactive exclusion zone.
Like many, his first reaction was to run, but he soon returned to the animals' rescue.
Initially, he only intended to get his pets but decided to care for the rest of them, too.
Matsumura knows the dangers of radiation but pays them no mind.
At 55 years old, he doesn't plan on leaving these animals any time soon.
He had learned that thousands of cows were left in barns and died as a result.
He nursed many of the animals back to health.
Dogs were left chained by their owners until Matsumura found them.
He is now relied on to provide food to these animals.
He was ordered by the government to leave the exclusion zone, but Matsumura did not budge.
He has lived in the zone for nearly four years, starting in 2011.
Donations from fans and supporters are his only source of assistance.
He's commonly known as the "guardian of Fukushima's animals."
Despite his grave situation, Matsumura is a bit of a jokester when it suits him.
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