Radioactive Boars Are on a Rampage Lately

Radioactive boars sounds like the plot of an ingenious B-horror movie, but nope, this is actual news, straight from Germany.

The wild boar population in Germany has gotten out of hand in recent years, thanks to a string of unusually mild winters, and the nation is starting to deal with the consequences. The beasts have begun rampaging through city streets and even attacking residents on a somewhat regular basis.

Because of lingering effects from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, many of the boars are contaminated with radiation. Wild boar is a delicacy in Germany, but it’s ill-advised to eat radioactive anything. So naturally, there are more radioactive boars out there than ever before, which in itself has some unexpected consequences.

Due to atomic energy regulations, the German government must buy contaminated animals from the hunters who catch them. The issue has wound up costing the German government a lot of cash. In 2009, they spent $500,000 on compensation, almost quadruple the amount in 2007.

To put the whole problem into perspective, consider this: 287,000 boars were shot two hunting seasons ago. Last hunting season, that number jumped all the way up to 650,000.

If you’re wondering about the logistics of the radiation, the explosion’s fallout is still affecting the region’s vegetation. Mushrooms and truffles absorb a large amount of radiation, in particular, and wild boars love their mushrooms, making them particularly susceptible.

Radioactivity in plants may decrease, but the levels in mushrooms may even increase in coming years, which will of course breed more inedible, contaminated boars rampaging the streets of Germany. So this issue currently has no end in sight.