We recently reported on mutations and DNA damage being caused to animals who live near the site of the Fukushima disaster.
Now, new reports are surfacing about radioactive wild boars that are terrorizing locals who live near the nuclear site.
According to the IB Times:
Locals living near the now-defunct Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant still have a hard time dealing with lingering effects of the 2011 meltdown. Adding to their woes is havoc caused by radioactive wild boars on the rampage, damaging private property and crops.
According to reports, the population of boars in the region has increased 330% in five years since the disaster and the animals continue to “breed like rabbits”, especially in the quarantine zone uninhabited by humans. The wild animals also venture outside the zone, damaging farms and private property, and injuring pedestrians.
According to the Yomiuri newspaper, the government has offered rewards to hunters for culling the boars. In the city of Nihonmatsu, six large graves capable of holding 600 boars each are already packed and locals are often forced to bury them in their gardens. “Sooner or later, we’re going to have to ask local people to give us their land to use,” Tsuneo Saito, a local hunter said. “The city doesn’t own land which isn’t occupied by houses.”
“Sooner or later, we’re going to have to ask local people to give us their land to use,” Tsuneo Saito, a local hunter said. “The city doesn’t own land which isn’t occupied by houses.”
The Times reported that the number of boars hunted has increased from 3,000 to 13,000 since 2014. Still, it has not brought any respite for residents because the animals breed so quickly.
In the city of Soma, a £1m ($1.4m) operation has been set in motion under which the carcasses of boars can be cremated, not buried.. The incinerator is capable of filtering and absorbing any radioactive material that may be released but can only manage three boars a day.
Assistant ecology professor Okuda Keitokunin of the Fukushima University Environmental Radioactivity Institute told Mainichi newspaper: “Wild boar along with raccoon have been taking advantage of the evacuation zone, entering vacant houses in areas damaged by the [disaster], and using them as breeding places or burrows .”
The boars, once a local delicacy , have now been labelled unfit for human consumption. However, not enough evidence has been found to confirm that they have been affected by exposure in the quarantine zone where levels of radiation were 300 times the safe limit for humans. Smaller plants and animals have shown symptoms of mutation.
The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant disaster leading to the meltdown of three reactors and the release of radioactive material followed a tsunami.
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