With humans long gone, and robots dying off amid the radiation, Fukushima has become home to ‘something else’.
When the exclusion zone was set up almost exactly 6 years ago this week – with the surrounding towns population evacuated to a safe distance – The Mirror reports that hundreds of the wild boars, which have been known to attack people when enraged, descended from surrounding hills and forests into the deserted streets.
Now they roam the empty streets and overgrown garden’s of Japan’s deserted seaside town of Namie, foraging for food.
However, the people of Namie are scheduled to return to the town at the end of the month, which means the bloody-toothed interlopers have to be cleared.
“It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars,” said Tamotsu Baba, mayor of the town.
“If we don’t get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable.”
Reuters reports that more than half of Namie’s former 21,500 residents have decided not to return and face the wild boars, however, a government survey showed last year, citing concerns over radiation and the safety of the nuclear plant, which is being decommissioned.
Wild boar meat is a delicacy in northern Japan, but animals slaughtered since the disaster are too contaminated to eat. According to tests conducted by the Japanese government, some of the boars have shown levels of radioactive element caesium-137 that are 300 times higher than safety standards.
Authorities in the town of Tomioka say they’ve killed 800 so far, but officials there say that’s not enough, according to Japanese media. The latest statistics show that in the three years since 2011, the number of boars killed in hunts has grown to 13,000 from 3,000.
But at town meetings earlier this year to prepare for the homecoming, residents had voiced worries about the wild boars.
“I’m sure officials at all levels are giving some thought to this,” said Hidezo Sato, a former seed merchant in Namie. “Something must be done.”
Why not send in some robots? Oh wait you tried that!