Toxic wild boars are stalking Fukushima residents

Families who had to flee their homes after the Fukushima nuclear disaster are now being pressured to return despite high radiation levels in a "looming human rights crisis", a charity has warned.

Reuters also reports that a number of hunters in the town of Tomioka are working to "catch and kill" the animals using air rifles and special traps.

One problem: the area has since been overtaken by hundreds of radioactive wild boars!

Boars are typically slow to approach humans, but according to officials monitoring the situation, the toxic boars near the Fukushima plant have become settled in abandoned homes and no longer fear humans - leading some to suggest they could attack those who return.

The result is that some residents who fled the area in March 2011 are now facing a nearly impossible choice - return to their homes near Fukushima or remain in their new homes, but with their housing subsidies withdrawn and compensation payments withdrawn a year later.

Many towns in the Fukushima area have been left empty over the last six years, which allowed the boars to enter the towns from nearby hills and forests.

Evacuation orders will be lifted on the outskirts of the prefecture on March 31 or April 1, according to Reuters.

"They began coming down from the mountains and now they're not going back", hunter Shoichi Sakamoto told the network.

More than half of Namie's former 21,500 residents have chosen not to return to the area due to concerns over radiation and the safety of the severely damaged nuclear power plant. "They found a place that was comfortable".

But at town meetings earlier this year to prepare for the homecoming, residents had voiced worries about the animals. "Something must be done".

The decommissioning work is expected to take decades. This year, radiation levels in one of the containment vessels of the plant's reactors reached their highest level since the incident occurred in 2011.

  • Zachary Reyes