boar population has grown dramatically
Ruth Halkon | Mirror
Radioactive wild boars which are ‘breeding like rabbits’ are overwhelming the Fukushima Nuclear disaster zone.
Watch video: Radioactive Wild Boars Found Near Fukushima
The boar population, which has increased by 330 per cent in the five years since the disaster, has been devastating the crops of farms in the area.
Around 13,000 of the boars are in the exclusion zone, which stretches in a 12-mile radius from the plant.
Since the nuclear disaster of 2011, damage to agriculture caused by boars in the area in north Japan has doubled to around £10.6million, according to The Times .
Boars also pose a threat to public safety, and have reportedly injured local residents while roaming the streets of towns nearby.
According to Yomiuri news outlet, the government in Fukushima has been offering rewards to hunters in order to “ inspire” them to cull the boars.
But their efforts have only had a tiny effect on the population of the animal which reproduces quickly.
Scientists from the Fukushima University Environmental Radioactivity Institute, who have been researching the spread of radioactive materials in the disaster area, said the boars have been raising their litters in abandoned houses.
Assistant ecology professor Okuda Keitokunin told Mainichi newspaper “ Wild boar along with raccoon have been taking advantage of the evacuation zone, entering vacant houses in areas damaged by the [disaster], and using them as breeding places or burrows .”
There is also a problem of what to do with the bodies of boars killed as they are unfit for human consumption.
Mass graves holding 600 boars each are already full and there is a shortage of people qualified to cremate them.
There is no evidence so far that the health of the boars has been affected by exposure to radiation, although smaller animals and plants have been damaged.
But studies have found evidence of damage in smaller animals, like rats, as well as plants. In high radiation areas, DNA damage has also been discovered in earthworms, and growth mutations have been identified in fir trees, the Times reports.
The disaster at Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Plant was caused by a tsunami that resulted in the meltdown of three nuclear reactors and a release of radioactive material.