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FILE --- In this Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010 file photo wild boars stroll in a forest in Eglharting near Munich, southern Germany. While today many Germans are worried about Sushi imported from Japan, some of the country's wild game and mushrooms pose a far greater radiation risk, showing the long-lasting effects of a nuclear catastrophe a quarter century after the Soviet Union's Chernobyl reactor spewed radiation across Europe. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Hundreds of wild boars could prevent Japanese residents from relocating to their homes


Six years ago, a massive earthquake rattled the town of Fukushima, Japan, causing three Fukushima Daiichi reactors to instigate a nuclear meltdown. Now, hundreds of boars occupy the radioactive area, Reuters reported.

Boars, which are known to attack people when angered, roam Japan's seaside town of Namie, foraging for food.

"It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars," said Tamotsu Baba, mayor of the town, which has been partially cleared for people to return home freely at the end of the month.

"If we don't get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable," he added.

This poses a problem for former residents wishing to return to their homes. At the end of March, Japan is scheduled to life evacuation orders for parts of Namie--which is about 2.5 miles from the nuclear plant--in addition to three other towns.

The residents were initially forced to flee their homes after radiation spewed from the reactors. 

In a nearby town, hunters are deployed to catch and kill the wild boars about twice a week.

"After people left, they began coming down from the mountains and now they are not going back," Shoichiro Sakamoto said. "They found a place that was comfortable. There was plenty of food and no one to come after them."

More than half of Namie's former 21,500 residents have decided not to return, citing radiation concerns, according to a government survey last year. 

Their concerns, however, have shifted to the animals. 

"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."

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