Radioactive boars invade parts of Fukushima

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The Japanese government is planning to reopen towns like Namie and Tomioka that were evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, but one challenge has been the invasion of radioactive boars in those deserted areas.

The Washington Post reported last April that more than 13,000 boars had been hunted, but their numbers were still increasing since they lack natural predators around Fukushima; by that point, they had caused more than $900,000 in local agricultural damage.

Click through images of the radioactive boars here:

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Radioactive boars in Japan
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Radioactive boars in Japan
A wild boar is seen in a booby trap near a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, February 28, 2017. Picture taken February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Wild boars are seen in a booby trap as a member of Tomioka Town's animal control hunters group, holds a pellet gun at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 2, 2017. Picture taken March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Wild boars which killed by a pellet gun in a booby trap, are seen on a truck at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 2, 2017. Picture taken March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Wild boars which killed by a pellet gun in a booby trap, are seen at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 2, 2017. Picture taken March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A wild boar is seen at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Namie town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 1, 2017. Picture taken March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A member of Tomioka Town's animal control hunters group, holds a pellet gun to kill wild boars which are in a booby trap at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 2, 2017. Picture taken March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Wild boars killed by a pellet gun are seen in a booby trap at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 2, 2017. Picture taken March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Members of Tomioka Town's animal control hunters group hold a meeting before looking around booby traps for wild boars at a meeting place in an evacuation zone near TEPCO's tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 2, 2017. Picture taken March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A wild boar walks on a street at a residential area in an evacuation zone near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Namie town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 1, 2017. Picture taken March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
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There have also been lingering concerns about the animals possibly attacking people who have decided to return.

The boars have shown occasional aggression to humans in the past, and some of them have been found to carry 300 times the acceptable level of radioactivity, notes the New York Times.

Surveys reportedly indicated that half the population of Namie has expressed an interest in returning, though many others have said they plan on staying away due to radiation fears.

Officials hope that hired hunters will help to reduce the number of boars in the area.

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