Six years after the Fukushima nuclear plant’s disastrous meltdown in Japan, the local government is now preparing to allow some of the residents to return to their homes in select areas.
The task would be a lot easier if not for the hundreds of radioactive wild boars currently roaming within the now habitable zone. Some of the animals have reportedly taken shelter in previously abandoned homes.
Worried that these contaminated boars may attack returning residents, city officials have begun clearing them out by using hunters, The New York Times reports.
“We need a strong hunting plan,” Hidekiyo Tachiya, the mayor of neighboring town Soma was quoted as saying. “I wish for the day to come when we can eat wild game again.”
Around 800 boars carrying highly radioactive material have been killed by the hired hunters. Before the 2011 disaster, boar meat was actually a delicacy in northern Japan, before they became too toxic to eat.
Aside from the large population of wild boars in the area, other wild animals have also overtaken the town, including stray dogs and colonies of toxic rats
More than 150,000 people were forced to evacuate from their homes following the meltdown. However, as some areas surrounding Fukushima were decontaminated, a portion of the evacuees returned to their homes.
Still, most former residents have expressed that they will not return to their homes due to fear of radiation. By the government’s own estimates, a full dismantling of the plant would take about 40 years more.