Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Toxic wild boars are stalking Fukushima residents

Toxic wild boars are stalking Fukushima residents

Still, most former residents have expressed that they will not return to their homes due to fear of radiation.

More than 120,000 people remain in evacuation following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster, even after the passage of six years. The government has given residents the go signal to return, despite warnings about still-high radiation levels.

Japan on Saturday marked the sixth anniversary of the deadly natural disaster and tsunami that claimed over 18,000 lives, besides provoking a serious nuclear accident.

Radioactive boars are running rampant in Japanese towns long left vacant after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown sent their inhabitants scrambling. The meltdown of the nuclear plant forced thousands of residents to abandon their homes and leave their pets and livestock behind. "We are seeing people rights to health, housing and environment being attacked in a deliberate and calculated move - and it's women and children bearing the brunt". The level of contamination affected them, as well as the local flora and fauna within the power plant's vicinity. Now reproducing with reckless abandon, the wild boar population has jumped 300 per cent since the disaster, reaching an estimated 13,000 individuals.

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 created to filter out radioactive elements.

"Wild boars in this town are not scared of people these days", said hunter Shoichiro Sakamoto to Reuters. They will become internally displaced people. They found a place that's comfortable - there's plenty of food, and no one will come after them.

Even the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, wasn't sure who was in control.

Saturday marks the sixth anniversary of the disaster at the nuclear power plant and as the anniversary approaches, authorities in Japan have lifted evacuation orders on four towns inside the 12-mile exclusion zone, despite radiation being 20 times above the recommended levels. These meat of these feral pigs are considered a delicacy in Northern Japan, but because of the risky levels of contamination, they are unsafe to eat as cesium-137 can cause radiation sickness and increase cancer risk.

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