Thousands of radioactive boars are reportedly stalking residents and overrunning farmland near the Japanese town of Fukushima.
The New York Times reported that city officials are working to clear out the contaminated boar population in the area. Japan is set to allow residents to return to their homes in some areas near the plant. These city officials worry that these boars will attack returning residents. Some of these animals are reportedly living in abandoned homes.
“We need a strong hunting plan,” Hidekiyo Tachiya, the mayor of a nearby town called Soma. “I wish for the day to come when we can eat wild game again.”
Hunters have been hired and have killed at least 800 boars so far, but thousands more are expected to be killed.
Boar meat is a delicacy in northern Japan, but the animals in the area are considered too toxic to eat. According to Texas A&M wildlife and fisheries professor Billy Higginbotham, the average size of a male hog is around 200 pounds. Considering this average, if 13,000 are killed, hunters have around 2,600,000 pounds of potentially dangerous flesh requiring disposal.
The Washington Post reported since the meltdown, the damage wild boars have caused to agriculture by eating crops in the Fukushima area has doubled, reaching ¥98 million or just more than $900,000, according to Yomiuri. That price tag will only rise as the boar population, lacking natural predators, continues to increase–during the past two years, the number of boars that have been hunted has increased more than 300 percent, from 3,000 to 13,000.
Most residents in Fukushima say they will not return to their homes due to fear of radiation. What’s more, it will take 40 years to dismantle to plant, according to Fox News.
The Fukushima disaster at one point forced more than 150,000 people to abandon their homes. The number has decreased significantly as more areas have been decontaminated and the government pushes to showcase the reconstruction. Subsidies for evacuees outside of Fukushima will be cut later this month.
There is reportedly a large population of rat colonies, dogs and boars.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)