Radioactive wild boars are roaming Japan five years after nuclear disaster
They’ve caused millions of pounds’ worth of damage.
In 2011, a tsunami damaged the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in one of the worst nuclear disasters in human history (only the infamous Chernobyl caused more devastation), but five years on, it isn’t the widespread radiation that is causing the remaining plucky inhabitants the most problems.
While much of the area around the plant was evacuated due to dangerously unsafe radiation levels – excluding the die-hard group of surfers who still ride the radioactive waves in the nearby bay – a new menace has emerged.
Since 2014, the number of radioactive wild boar have been on the rise, swelling from 3,000 to 14,000, and with this sharp increase has come almost $15 million worth of damage to the local agriculture industry.
With much of the human habitation reduced thanks to the high levels of latent radiation, it’s provided the perfect grounds for these wild boars to breed unchecked.
Rampaging through the countryside, the boars’ numbers have continued to increase despite the best efforts of the Japanese government. They’ve introduced culls and a designated hunting season, to little effect.
Not only are these boars causing significant damage to crops and farming efforts in the ravaged areas, they are also contaminated with extraordinarily high levels of radiation.
This is thought to be because of their diet, with the boars eating contaminated vegetation, which they then return to the ground through defecation, effectively rendering a complete cycle of radiation. Huzzah, radiation for everyone!
Not only that, but locals have been warned not to hunt the boars for food, as tests run on the animals’ flesh revealed levels of radiation 300 times that safe for human consumption. It’d be like tucking into a plutonium burger.
Officials have estimated radiation levels will remain high for another 30 years, by which time the Japanese might have caught up with culling them, or have a case of mutant flesh-eating pigs on their hands.