Nuclear Hogs: Radioactive Wild Boars Running Amok Around Fukushima; Hunters Deployed

(EnviroNews World News) — Fukushima Prefecture, Japan — Radioactive wild boars are running amok near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant on the eastern coast of Japan. The animals have migrated down from the mountains into the virtual ghost towns surrounding the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident, after over 100,000 residents were evacuated on March 11, 2011, following a tsunami and triple reactor core meltdown that turned the country upside down.

The boars have been reportedly “stalking” residents as the government prepares to clear the way for people to return to their homes on March 31 in several towns close to the plant, the nearest of which is only 2.5 miles away.

“They come down from the mountains to the residential areas and attack people or collide with cars,” University of Tokyo Professor Takahisa Murata told the BBC.

Hunter Preparing to Shoot Trapped Wild Boar in Fukushima Prefecture

The wild pigs have been “foraging on radioactive waste” and engorging themselves, with little competition, on toxic plants contaminated with radioisotopes let loose during the meltdowns, prompting a government ban on eating the creatures.

A squad of hunters has been deployed to trap and eradicate the animals, in an effort to pave the way for humans to return to the area.

“They began coming down from the mountains and now they’re not going back,” hunter Shoichi Sakamoto told the BBC. “They found a place that’s comfortable, there’s plenty of food, and no one will come after them. This is their new home now and this [is] where they have children.”

The hunting detail is comprised of 13 hunters, who use rice flower as bait — first trapping the animals in large cages, and then destroying them, according to The Independent. So far, the crew has eliminated 300 of the nuclear hogs, but many hundreds more are reportedly still on the loose near the deserted towns of Tomioka and Namie.

“It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars,” said Namie’s mayor, Tamotsu Baba. “If we don’t get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable.”

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