Radioactive wild boars overrun northern Japan 5 years after nuclear disaster

Radioactive wild boar are taking over Fukushima, Japan, 5 years after a tsunami damaged the nuclear power plant. PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

Five years after a tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, radioactive wild boars are wreaking havoc in nearby towns.

According to a report in The Times, the boars are terrorizing residents in communities. There are estimates that $15 million worth of damage has been done to agriculture since the proliferation of the boars.

The wild boars are so copious — rising from 3,000 in 2014 to 13,000 today —  that local officials who are sweeping through the countryside trying to cull the animals are having a difficult time getting rid of the carcasses.

READ MORE: Containing Fukushima’s radioactive water may be 9-year fight

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

Incinerators and mass graves holding some 600 boars just can’t keep up.

Story continues below advertisement

In March 2011, a 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, creating a tsunami that killed almost 16,000 people and caused about $300 billion in damages. The tsunami caused a meltdown in the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which resulted in the release of radioactive material in the region.

Much of the immediate area was abandoned, which, for the wild boars, created ideal conditions for reproducing.

Though boars can be eaten, tests on these wild ones have produced radiation levels 300 times that safe for human consumption, likely as a result of the pigs eating contaminated vegetation in the area.

It is estimated that radiation levels will remain high for about 30 years.

Sponsored content