A group of researchers stationed at Fukushima, which was the site of a nuclear disaster event in Japan back in 2011, have discovered that a new mutant species of slightly radioactive pig-boar hybrid animals have sprung up out of the radioactive wasteland surrounding the nuclear energy plant.
As reported in a new study that looked at the potential impact of nuclear disaster events on the local habitat and wildlife, the extremely elevated level of radiation has had no “adverse effects” on the genetics of the newly discovered animals.
“However, wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax) have proliferated in the area, after being left to roam freely from the lack of humans,” stated The Daily Mail. “The boars have bred with domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) that escaped from nearby properties after farmers had to flee, creating a new hybrid species.”
“The study has been led by Donovan Anderson, a researcher at Fukushima University in Japan, who has been driving through the land exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear reactor,” continued The Daily Mail. “For the study, Anderson colleagues analyzed DNA samples from muscles of 243 wild boars, pigs and boar-pig hybrids, taken from local slaughterhouses.”
as reported in the study, a group of 31 wild boar was found to be hybrids, representing about 16 percent of the wild boar from the region.
“We show evidence of successful hybridization between pigs and native wild boar in this area,” announced Anderson and a group of his colleagues. “We recommend that future studies assess the fitness of these hybrids and better characterize their ecological niche.”
Anderson made note of the fact that the cross-breeding would have had nothing to do with the radiation, despite the fact that pig-boars are radioactive themselves.
“While the boar and hybrids are technically radioactive, the radiation had nothing to do with the genetic changes — this was the pigs’ fault,” continued Anderson. “The wild boar in Fukushima are still relatively contaminated and can range from as no detection of radionuclides to 30,000 becquerels per kilogram.”
The nuclear disaster in Fukushima back in 2011 was caused, primarily, by an earthquake followed by a tsunami and was marked as the most severe nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.
In the wake of the earthquake, the then active reactors automatically shut down and kicked on a set of backup diesel generators that attempted to cool the cores of the reactor. As a result of the 46-foot tsunami hitting the shore, the emergency generators failed which resulted in the complete meltdown of the three reactor cores, three hydrogen explosions, and the radioactive contamination of the surrounding landscape.
“There were no deaths immediately during the nuclear disaster. At least 16 workers were injured in the explosions, while dozens more were exposed to radiation as they worked to cool the reactors and stabilize the plant,” as stated by the BBC this year. “Three people were reportedly taken to hospital after high-level exposure.”
The BBC concluded by saying: “Long-term effects of the radiation are a matter of debate.”