Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

New Fukushima Worry: Potentially Radioactive Wild Boars Settle In

New Fukushima Worry: Potentially Radioactive Wild Boars Settle In

However, after the area was evacuated, wild boars moved in from the surrounding hills and forests.

The animals have reportedly settled into the abandoned homes and lost their shyness to humans, causing wranglers to express concern that returning residents may be attacked.

At the end of March, Japan is set to lift evacuation orders for parts of Namie, located just 4 km (2.5 miles) from the wrecked nuclear plant, as well as three other towns.

The government has cleared four towns in the Fukushima prefecture as being safe for people, but there's at least one issue standing in the way: Thousands of radioactive wild boars.

Authorities in the town of Tomioka say they have killed 800 boars so far, but claim that is not almost enough. And, since they've lost their wariness of people, they're likely to be aggressive."It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars", Tamotsu Baba, mayor of the deserted town of Namie, told Reuters. Some residents are now being allowed to return to their homes in the more distant areas, but the wild boars, which can get fairly large, now consider these abandoned towns home and are not afraid of people.

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In nearby Tomioka, a team of 14 have been tasked with ridding the area with boars using their air rifles.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident was one of the major consequences of the quake and tsunami on March 11th 2011 that left more than 15,000 people dead in Japan.

"After people left, they began coming down from the mountains and now they are not going back", Sakamoto told Reuters. "There was plenty of food and no one to come after them". The Washington Post reported previous year on the animals, noting that scientists have found no evidence that the boars have any ill effects from radioactivity in their systems.

Still, most former residents have expressed that they will not return to their homes due to fear of radiation.

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