Thousands of Radioactive Boars Are Running Wild in Japan

They’re not mutating, though. Not yet.

The northern region of Japan devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has seen a host of strange after-effects in the years since the disaster. After all, the incident killed nearly 16,000 and caused the worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and the aftermath has yielded odd and unsettling phenomena — like tales of tsunami victims returning as ghostly cab customers — born from the trauma of the event.

But there’s a very real and weird problem now plaguing prefectures neighboring the now-abandoned quarantine zone at the Fukushima nuclear plant: a large number of aggressive, radioactive wild boars.

According to reports from the London Times and the Independent, the population of boars in the region has gone unchecked since the exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant was evacuated, ballooning from 3,000 to 13,000. Boars have overrun farms in the region and are dying in such large quantities that locals don’t even have time to dig large enough graves to hold them. They’re no longer edible either, according to the Independent:

In the city of Soma, a purpose-built incinerator has been developed, complete with filters to absorb any radioactive material released by its cremations. However, even this £1million operation can only dispose of three boars a day.

The animals were considered a local delicacy, but the nuclear contaminated boars are unfit for human consumption. Tests have shown the contaminated area remains dangerous, with levels of radiation 300 times the safe limit for humans.

As easy as it is to imagine a cartoon scenario like confronting a hulked-out, radiation-crazy boar, the Independent reports they haven’t show signs of mutations from the Fukushima Daiichi radiation. Thank goodness for small favors — and be very suspicious of inexpensive boar meat from Japan.

h/t The Independent