German wild boars contain radiation from Chernobyl as animals ‘adapt to zone’

Over 30 years on from the Chernobyl disaster, Germany's wild boar population remains contaminated with radiation, new research has shown.

36 years ago the plant exploded and released radioactive material 400 times more powerful than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into the sky.

Faced with no choice, residents were forced to flee the soviet towns close to the plant which have since become overgrown with enough vegetation to be a thriving haven for wildlife.

And according to a new Channel 4 program ‘Chernobyl: The New Evidence’, many indigenous local wildlife has now adapted to the radiation.

In 1998, when a Ukrainian zoologist released 30 endangered Przewalski horses into the radio-active zone in hope that they would graze on foliage and reduce wildfire risk, the entire herd adapted.

Kiev Zoo researcher Dr Maryna Shkvyria explained in 2019: “They’re really using the forests.

“We even put camera traps in old barns and buildings and they’re using them to shelter from mosquito and heat.

“They even lay down and sleep inside ‒ they’re adapting to the zone.”

However, there remain some massive problems relating to the disaster.

In Bavaria, Germany, a large amount of meat is still disposed of, as a number of wild boars there continue to be contaminated with radioactivity.

After the nuclear reactor exploded it released radioactive substances into the atmosphere, which then travelled across Europe in a noxious cloud, first in the direction of Sweden, then to Austria and Bavaria.

Yet random samples from wild boars, who rummage through the polluted forest floors for food, still show values.

Mr Richter, who is also from the Bavarian Hunting Association said: “Every boar is checked.

“Even if, as a hunter, I give game to a friend as a gift, I have to have it checked beforehand.

Experts estimate that around 10 to 15 percent of the wild boars killed in the affected areas are contaminated.

  • Fukushima: Radioactive boars create mutant hybrid species decade after nuclear disaster

Interestingly, following the Fukushima's nuclear disaster in 2011, Radioactive wild boars bred with Japan's domestic pigs to create a new hybrid species.

A study has led by Donovan Anderson, a researcher at Fukushima University in Japan, analysed DNA samples from muscles of 243 wild boars, pigs and boar-pig hybrids, taken from local slaughterhouses.

The results proved that 31 wild boar, or 16% of the wild boar from the evacuated zone, were hybrids.

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