When I heard that bores were roaming freely through Fukushima, I imagined my great-aunt Jane and my tenth grade math teacher ambling zombie-like through the city. And when I heard they were wild bores, I imagine my great-aunt Jane and my tenth grade math teacher wearing mini-skirts and too much cheap perfume.
But then I realized they were wild BOARS, and I thought, “Oh, that’s totally not what I was imagining.”
Okay, kids, all joking aside, yes, there is a wild boar problem in the evacuated parts of Fukushima Prefecture. (In Japanese, wild boar are called inoshishi.) However, I can’t leave my home and take photos of them, because they don’t exist where I live. I live in Fukushima City (not evacuated) and thus we have no wild boar problem. Life goes on as normal here. We don’t even have stray dogs here in Fukushima City. We do, unfortunately, have a few stray cats, which makes me quite sad. (Not many, just a few. The friendlier stray cats seem to find kind people who feed them and give shelter. It seems that it is the more timid stray cats that suffer.)
Anyway, back to the wild boar problem. First of all, I was researching this on the internet, and kids, I found a sentence which teaches us not to believe everything on the internet:
“Hundreds of boars carrying highly radioactive material are reportedly stalking residents hoping the Japanese town of Fukushima six years after the meltdown of the nuclear plant.” (Foxnew.com)
Never mind the fact that that sentence is grammatically incorrect and therefore incomprehensible. Let’s look at this part: “the Japanese town of Fukushima”
Fox News, let me be the first to inform you that that Fukushima is not a town.
There is Fukushima City and Fukushima Prefecture. It’s exactly like New York City and New York State. EXACTLY! And are wild boars roaming in New York City? No. Well, they are not roaming in Fukushima City, either.
The boars that are causing trouble are in the evacuated area of small towns around the nuclear power plant. What happened is that people were forced by meltdowns to quickly leave their homes. So then in the years that followed, wild boars came in from the uninhabited parts of Fukushima Prefecture. (Fukushima Prefecture is mostly uninhabited mountains.) Those boars found food in that evacutated area, and plus nobody was living in that area to scare them off or shoo them away. So as animals do, the boars have claimed the territory for their own. Rats and other vermin have done the same in the evacuated area, but they are not getting international news attention.
And now residents are returning to parts of the evacuated area. Naturally, they want to fix up their homes and live peaceably. But there are dangerous boars about, and so of course this is a problem.
There seem to be two ways that the boars are being killed: by trapping and hunting. (Yes, hunting IS legal in Japan, although it is strictly regulated. My husband’s uncle was a hunter.) However, the boars can’t be killed for their meat because they have been roaming and now have high amounts of radiation in their system. (Every cloud has a silver lining, though. Scientists can use the boars and study them to judge just how much radiation has dispersed through the area.)
Here is an article about the situation in Japanese and English.