In the five years since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in northern Japan, residents in the region have been beset by the problem of wild, radioactive boars run amok.
The contaminated wild boars are now overwhelming local communities, reports The Times of London.
Since 2011, the ever-growing horde of wild, radioactive pigs has run riot throughout a forbidden, polluted zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The animals also basically breed like rabbits.
Now, the wild boars are menacing much of the Fukushima area, damaging farms and causing other problems.
As early as 2013, local officials in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture were beginning to express concern because hunters had become far less interested in bagging wild boar in the area around the disabled power plant out of fear that the meat would be irradiated.
Officials responded by setting boar traps and electric fences. They also began offering subsidies and prize money to the region’s generally older hunters, according to The Japan Times. These tactics were ineffective.
“It is a cat-and-mouse game because they reproduce quickly,” conservation official Hiroshi Sakai said, according to the Times.
One seemingly intractable issue is that the area near the reactor is not being cleared, which allows the wild boars ample space to hide — and proliferate. Prior to the meltdown, the area was frequently cleared.
Hunting and trapping continues today. However, government officials are now running out of places to dispose of wild boar corpses and incinerated remains.
The problem could spread.
After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, radioactive wild boars continued to appear on a regular basis for years — even in Germany, more than 600 miles away. The contaminated pigs still show up in Europe today, according to the Asia Times.