Radioactive boars are taking over Fukushima farmland

Brittany A. Roston - Apr 11, 2016, 4:59 pm CDT
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Radioactive boars are taking over Fukushima farmland

Since the earthquake and resulting nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, radioactive boars have been breeding in great numbers, and now only a handful of years later they’ve become a major pest, affecting nearby farmland and posing big problems for residents in neighboring cities. Boars are enough of a problem — radioactive boars are another issue altogether, as they must be disposed of in a safe manner. The growing number of boars have caused nearly a million dollars in damage to crops, and the number will continue to rise if a solution isn’t found.

Wild animals, as we’ve seen previously with the Chernobyl disaster, tend to flourish in the absence of humans and predators. That’s the case for these boars, allowing them to increase in numbers quickly. The number of boars killed by hunters has increased from 3,000 to 13,000 over the past couple of years.

Because the boars wander into the contaminated zone and eat plants that are radioactive, the boars themselves are radioactive and thusly cannot be used for meat. Disposing of the creatures is problematic, then, as the number of killed animals — coupled with their average weights — amounts to millions of pounds. Three mass graves have been created so far, each able to hold 600 boars each.

Those mass graves are almost full, though; finding space to dig more of them is proving to be problematic, as available free space is already limited, and each grave uses up what precious little is left. Soon enough, the city and hunters will be faced with seeking farmland from private owners who, understandably, may be unwilling to give up the space for radioactive carcasses. Incineration is an option, of course, but the costs are proving exceptionally high, and special filters must be used to keep the radiative particles out of the air.

SOURCE: Washington Post


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