A new species of hybrid pig dominates the Fukushima area, now abandoned after the nuclear disaster a decade ago.
After the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011, the wildlife in the city has evolved. Completely abandoned by human activity – and presence – the areas around the old fusion plant have blossomed again with new species that have appropriated the inhospitable space. The most recent combination was a wild boar hybrid that captured the hearts of researchers at Fukushima University.
A decade of coexistence
Wild boars roam the fertilized area after the nuclear disaster. For the past 10 years, they have taken over the area. The sighting of this new hybrid pig attracted the attention of several Japanese scientists who took DNA samples to know its genetic constitution.
It turned out to be a completely distinct species, the offspring of escaped wild boars and pigs from local farms. The wild boars appear to have adopted orphaned or lost young and cared for them as if they were their own. Following numerous generations of coexistence, we now have a hybrid pig resulting from the union of two species.
“While radiation did not cause a genetic effect, the invasive domestic pig species did,” explains Donovan Anderson, who led the research project.
As with Chernobyl, the exclusion zones around the old power plant have allowed nature to re-establish itself. Because of the radiation, there are no people messing with it.
Raided by domestic cattle, the ancient city now shines with a different glow. Experts believe that this hybrid pig could only have been formed with the assistance of wild boars. The discovery was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal. A biological chart has been created that considers the positive impact of the nuclear disaster on the diversity of Fukushima.
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