Radioactive boar-pig hybrids roam around Fukushima, scientists claim

Scientists claim radioactive wild boars have been mating with domestic pigs in Fukushima.

Radioactive boars inhabiting Fukushima are breeding with domestic pigs that have escaped from local farms, leading to a new hybrid species, scientists claim.

As Unilad reports, this shocking discovery was made while researchers were analyzing the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on local animals. A decade after the harrowing incident, the radiation levels in the area are still above than globally recommended limits.

Although the experts found that radiation had no damaging effects on the animals’ genetics, Greenpeace stresses that people living in the area “would receive the yearly maximum dose of radioactivity within a few days.”

The population of wild boars in Fukushima has skyrocketed as the animals were left to roam without the control of humans. 

Donovan Anderson, a researcher from the Fukushima University, along with a team of scientists, examined DNA samples taken from the muscles of 243 wild boars, pigs, and boar-pig hybrids. They discovered that 31 wild boar, or 16% of wild boar within the evacuated zone, were, in fact, boar-pig hybrids. The experts explain:

“Using genetic data, we demonstrate how wild boar have persevered against these environmental changes, including an invasion of escaped domestic pigs.

The greatest number of hybrids detected, or relatively 75% of all hybrids, were within the initial 20 km radius evacuation zone.”

Credits: Yuki Nakao

According to the scientists, future risks for wild boars in Fukushima include “intraspecies competition, revitalization of human-related disruptions and disease outbreaks.” They add:

“We recommend that future studies assess the fitness of these hybrids and better characterize their ecological niche.”

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