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radioactive pigs

13 April 2016

At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/radioactive-boars-rampage-around-fukus… … following the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power station during the earthquake and tsunami wave the surrounding area was evacuated – leaving empty houses, sheds and outbuildings behind. These were duly colonised by animals – most notably by wild pigs. This may say a bit like 'Animal Farm' but the pigs really did get to upgrade to houses. The Washington Post says that  because of a lack of people, or anyone sporting a gun on the lookout for wild boar on the menu, their population numbers went sky high, leading to crop damage to local farmers.

This reads like people were not eating wild boar but they were eating crops growing not too far away – but a line has to be drawn somewhere and clearly the pigs were able to cross the boundary of the exclusion zone. However it is not only wild pigs that have been living 'high on the hog' but other animal populations have also benefited by the lack of humans – including the racoon (presumably an American import). It all sound very similar to what happened in the exclusion zone drawn up around the nuclear energy facility at Chernobyl. This also went into meltdown (1986) and wildlife increased dramatically as they did not have to compete with humans. The site is now a wildlife preserve.

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