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Radioactive Wild Boars Keep Residents From Returning to Fukushima Area

Wild boar has always been a delicacy in Japan but in the Fukushima area, the boars are killed, burned or buried as some of them register up to 300 times the normal amount of radiation.  Several towns in the region were evacuated after the nuclear plant disaster and now some of the towns have been taken over by these radioactive animals.  To complicate matters, large numbers of wild dogs and rats are also living in the abandoned towns.

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

Teams of trappers have been turned loose in the towns armed with cages, bait and air rifles in an effort to cull the numbers of radioactive wild boars, but is far from an easy task.

“After people left, they (the boards) began coming down from the mountains and now they are not going back,” explained Shoichiro Sakamoto, who leads a team in the town of Tomioka. “They found a place that was comfortable. There was plenty of food and no one to come after them.”

From ITV Studios WILD BRITAIN WITH RAY MEARS Ep 10  Friday 16th December on ITV1 Ray Mears revisits his personal highlights from the first two series of Wild Britain. Travelling the length and breadth of the country Ray has explored Britain’s wildest and most beautiful habitats from the sea lochs of the Outer Hebrides to the chalk grasslands of Sussex. Meeting amongst others wild boar; short-eared owl; badger; a rare spider and the secretive capercaillie Ray shares our country’s most fascinating fauna and flora and shows why his favourite place in the world to view wildlife is home in Britain. PICTURED: Wild Boar piglets in the Forest Of Dean  (C) ITV  For further information please contact  Peter Gray  peter.gray@itv.com 0207 157 3046  This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV. Once made available by ITV Plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the TX date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

From The Conservative Tribune:

There are also concerns about the volatility of the boars as humans attempt to reassert their dominance in the towns, as the wild hogs have been known to attack when angered or disturbed.

Nor are the boars the only problem returning residents will have to face in reclaiming their towns, as the boars have apparently shared space with packs of feral dogs and massive colonies of rats that have made homes in abandoned houses and stores.

The U.K. Sun reported that recent surveys showed only about half of the residents of the evacuated towns were expected to return once the 12-mile exclusion zone around the damaged nuclear power plant is lifted, but that hasn’t lessened the concerns about the radioactive wild animals they will face.

“I’m sure officials at all levels are giving some thought to this,” said Hidezo Sato, a former merchant in Namie. “Something must be done.”

 

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