Pacific

Toxic wild boars reportedly stalk Fukushima residents

FILE: A wild boar is seen at a residential area in an evacuation zone.

FILE: A wild boar is seen at a residential area in an evacuation zone.  (Reuters)

Hundreds of boars carrying highly radioactive material are reportedly stalking residents hoping the Japanese town of Fukushima six years after the meltdown of the nuclear plant.

The New York Times reported that city officials are working to clear out the contaminated boar population in the area. Japan is set to allow residents to return to their homes in some areas near the plant. These city officials worry that these boars will attack returning residents. Some of these animals are reportedly living in abandoned homes.

“We need a strong hunting plan,” Hidekiyo Tachiya, the mayor of a nearby town called Soma. “I wish for the day to come when we can eat wild game again.”

Hunters have been reportedly hired and have so far killed about 800.

The report points out that boar meat is a delicacy in northern Japan, but the animals in the area are considered too toxic to eat.

The country is working to stabilize the region in general. Most residents in Fukushima say they will not return to their homes due to fear of radiation. What’s more, it will take 40 years to dismantle to plant.

The Fukushima disaster at one point forced more than 150,000 people to abandon their homes. The number has decreased significantly as more areas have been decontaminated and the government pushes to showcase the reconstruction. Subsidies for evacuees outside of Fukushima will be cut later this month.

International studies on Fukushima have predicted that cancer rates will not rise as a result of the nuclear accident, though some researchers say the rate of thyroid cancer in the prefecture is higher than what is generally found and could be related to radiation.

The report said video footage shows these Japanese towns overtaken by wild animals. There is a large population of rat colonies, unkempt dogs and boars. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report