Radioactive Boar on the Loose in Germany

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© Visuals Unlimited/Corbis

Nearly 25 years after the Chernobyl explosion, Europe still sees signs of radiation. Now it’s even in their wild boars.

Don’t worry, though — they’re not gaining Hulk-like superpowers. They’re just not safe to eat. Germany has had to compensate hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar. Since 2007, that payment has quadrupled. According to Spiegel Online, Germany forked over more than $500,000 to hunters in 2009.

Germany has long had a problem with wild boar, with stories swirling about packs of boar marching into cities and attacking people. The population keeps rising due to warmer winters. Last hunting season, 650,000 boar were shot, compared to just 287,000 the previous year.

A decent percentage of these rampaging pigs have traces of radiation in them, thanks to their taste for radioactive truffles and mushrooms. Even though the Chernobyl disaster happened in 1986, many plants are still contaminated, and their levels of radiation might even rise.

With the exploding population and contaminated food, Germany looks to be stuck with this problem. An expert told Spiegel Online that they expect radioactive boar to be a problem for the next 50 years. Let’s just hope they don’t gain any magic powers.