We venture out at dawn from a dilapidated shack nestled in a forest to see the animals, although rising early is not always necessary.
Still inhospitable to humans, the Chernobyl "exclusion zone" -- a contaminated 30-km radius around the site of the nuclear reactor explosion of April 26, 1986 -- is now a nature reserve and teems with wolves, moose, bison, wild boars and bears.
Boars, which generally confine their sorties to dusk, plunder what remains of gardens in the daytime, strolling down empty village streets, wandering into farms and settlements in search of food.
Moose also venture out -- like the cow and her two young which appear on the roadside to munch on low-hanging branches.
"Moose are very curious creatures," says Grigory Sys, one of the naturalists who oversee the animals in the still-radioactive forest. "They'll want to have a good look at us for a couple of minutes before heading off into the forest."
Since I met him about four years ago I've accompanied Sys a half-dozen times round the 2,162 square km (865-sq. mile) zone, emptied of people by the fire and explosion at the plant just over the border in Ukraine.
Belarus, downwind from the blast, was the country worst affected by the world's worst civil nuclear accident. A quarter of its territory was contaminated and villages deserted on both sides of the border between what were then Soviet republics. More....