photo by Edward N. Johnson; US Army Korea – IMCOM (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

‘Tell me, is there another jungle beyond the forbidden zone?’ queries Charlton Heston in the classic Cold War era science fiction film Planet of the Apes.

Well one forbidden zone and Cold War relic, which still remains, is actually a jungle of sorts. The Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, has unintentionally become a wildlife sanctuary.

An area stretching 155 miles (249 km) long, the DMZ is a buffer zone between the heavily militarized borders of North and South Korea, keeping it almost entirely free of humans. The lack of people – combined with the rich geographical diversity of the zone – make it an almost ideal haven for endangered species, perhaps even the ultra rare Korean Tiger and Asiatic black bear.

So long as they don’t step on any landmines, that is.

Check out this video report from CNN on one Korean photographer who has spent years documenting the wildlife of the DMZ.

Photographing Korea’s DMZ

Additional resources:

CNN – Korea’s DMZ: The thin green line