Former residents of four towns in Fukushima, Japan, where a nuclear plant meltdown forced thousands to evacuate in 2011, are ready to return home.
And they soon could – if it weren’t for the radioactive boars.
Officials are scrambling to remove scores of boars contaminated with radiation in a 12-mile zone whose ban against human habitation is about to be lifted, the New York Times reported.
They worry that the toxic beasts could attack people returning to abandoned streets claimed by the animals, which are reportedly no longer afraid of humans.
Since the Fukushima meltdown six years ago, photos and video of the area in northern Japan have shown towns and villages overrun with everything from ragged dogs and rat colonies, while farmland has become home to foxes and boars.
Wild boar is a delicacy in Japan, but these boars are risky eats: Some have registered radiation levels 300 times higher than safe standards while ravaging what crops remained and even pillaging homes.
Officials have hired crews of hunters to wipe out the boar population and say that 800 boars have been killed in one town alone, but that’s just the start. Drones and traps will also be necessary, they say.
“It’s important to set up an environment that will make it tough for the boars to live in,” an official told the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Disposing of boar bodies is also an issue: In Nihonmatsu, space is already running out after the city buried 1,800 boar carcasses in several mass graves, while the city of Soma has installed incinerators designed to filter out radioactive elements.(Press Herald)