Radioactive boar are squatting an abandoned town [VIDEO]

Support us and go ad-free

In the virtual ghost towns around Fukushima, some surprising guests have taken up residence.

Wild boar have descended on radiation-affected areas after a nuclear fallout. And they’ve put down roots in the abandoned towns.

The wild boar apparently descended on towns in northern Japan from the surrounding forests following the nuclear plant disaster in 2011. This forced around 160,000 inhabitants to evacuate when a tsunami caused a meltdown after disabling power supplies and cooling systems for nuclear reactors at the plant in Fukushima on the Japanese island of Honshu.

The boar have now been eating and ‘destroying’ local agriculture, including plants contaminated by radiation. Officials have warned against eating the boar meat, as tests reveal that some of the boar are contaminated with the radioactive element cesium-137 at levels 300 times higher than safety levels. But they are now killing them off in any case, as they are lifting evacuation orders on four of the towns.

Local hunter Shoichi Sakamoto said:

After people left, their ecosystem changed. They began coming down from the mountains and now they’re not going back. They found a place that’s comfortable – there’s plenty of food, and no one will come after them. This is their new home now and this is where they have children.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Too soon?

Scientists and commentators compare the fallout around Fukushima to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Here, an accident at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl (Ukraine) caused a series of explosions and nuclear fallout. While humans abandoned the towns around the disaster area, wildlife continued to grow and various animals have made their home there. And experts say the radiation is causing genetic damage and increasing mutation rates. Contamination, meanwhile, is ongoing.

As officials and hunters are culling the boar around Fukushima, some are criticising the lifting of the evacuation order. Because many will lose their housing subsidies if they do not return, even though they still have concerns.

One voluntary evacuee originally from the affected town of Koriyama told The Guardian:

The government is playing down the effects of radiation exposure … Yet people who don’t return to places like Koriyama after this month will be left to fend for themselves. They will become internally displaced people. We feel like we’ve been abandoned by our government.

Some figures already put the internally displaced at 134,000.

Six years on from one of Japan’s major disasters, questions remain. Though it seems that officials are pushing measures that neither the people nor the pigs really want.

Get Involved!

– Read more Canary articles on Fukushima.

Featured image via Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed