From mutated insects and broken-down rescue robots, to cobweb-infested schools that haven’t been touched in years, the Fukushima evacuation zone – the site of one of the worst disasters of the 21st century – is showing no signs of regaining even a semblance of habitability… for humans, at least.
Wild boars are reportedly thriving in the evacuated areas around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which experienced multiple meltdowns following an earthquake-triggered tsunami back in 2011. And now they’re tearing through nearby farmlands, causing more than US$900,000 (¥98 million) in crop damage for local farmers.
How did things get so bad? Well, under normal circumstances, this boar population would be kept under control by local hunters, with The Japan Timescalling pork – including wild boar meat – “the nation’s most popular meat”.
But the problem is these wild boars have been contaminated with caesium-137 – a radioactive substance with a half-life of 30 years – from eating plants and small animals around the exclusion zone, and now the hunters won’t go near them.