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Radioactive Wild Boars Take Over Japanese Towns After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Mar 11, 2017 06:17 AM EST
Wild boar
Wild boars make it a challenge for people to return to towns after the Fukushima disaster.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Hundreds of wild boars deter people from coming home to towns near Fukushima. Not only that, but they might be radioactive, following the nuclear crisis that devastated the region in 2011.

According to a report from Reuters, towns near Fukushima have been deserted after the nuclear disaster that happened six years ago. Now, some of these towns like Naime are nearly ready to welcome citizens back -- but the wild boars who now seem to run the town make it a challenge to repopulate the region.

When the people cleared the towns in lieu of the nuclear accident, wild boars emerged from the nearby hills and forests to forage food in the deserted neighborhoods. These animals can be aggressive and attack humans.

Seaside town Naime and three other towns have been cleared and people are expected to come back by the end of the month. However, Naime mayor Tamotsu Baba revealed that the presence of the boars is a significant problem.

"It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars," Baba told Reuters. "If we don't get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable."

Hunter Shoichiro Sakamoto from nearby town Tomioka is doing his part to clear the area of the wild boars that are posing a danger to potential residents.

Twice a week, he and 13 other assigned personnel set around 30 cage traps and hunt the creatures with air rifles. The team has managed to catch roughly 300 wild boars since they began their mission last April 2016.

"After people left, they began coming down from the mountains and now they are not going back," Sakamoto explained. "They found a place that was comfortable. There was plenty of food and no one to come after them."

Aside from the wild boars roaming the streets, people are hesitant to come back because of potential lingering radiation in their former towns.

According to a report from The Guardian, alarmingly high radiation levels were detected in a damaged reactor in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

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