March 3, 2021

Wild boars taking over Japanese towns as humans grow old and move out

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From WN

Rapidly shrinking towns and cities across are experiencing a population explosion, not in humans, but in wild boars, The Washington Post reports.

Across the country, wild boars are moving in as Japan’s rapidly aging population either moves out or dies out. The boars come for the untended rice paddies and stay for the abandoned shelters.

“Thirty years ago, crows were the biggest problem around here,” said , a farmer in Hiraizumi, human population 7,803, precise boar population unknown, as he sat in a hut with a wood stove and two farmer friends.

“But now we have these animals and not enough people to scare them away.” – Hideo Numata

At 67, Numata is a relative youngster around here. His friends, Etsuro Sugawa and Shoichi Chiba, are 69 and 70 respectively. One of their farmer neighbors is 83.

Southern parts of Japan have had a wild boar problem for some years. The papers are full of reports of boars in train stations and parking garages, around school dormitories and even in the sea, swimming out to islands.

Just this month, a 70-something woman was attacked on by a 176-pound boar when she opened her front door. A boar charged into a shopping mall on the island last October, biting five employees and rampaging through the aisles before being captured. In Kyoto, at least 10 wild boars were spotted in urban areas last year. Two charged into a high school in December, causing panic and the students to be evacuated.

But the animals are now wreaking havoc in northern areas long considered too cold and snowy for them. In Iwate Prefecture, only two wild boars were caught in 2011, when local authorities started keeping statistics. In the last fiscal year, that number had skyrocketed to 94.

The influx is the result of two factors, experts say: declining human populations and climate change.

This northern region has been hit particularly hard by depopulation. People were forced out when the gigantic 2011 earthquake caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and after the resulting tsunami wiped out coastal towns. Much of the area remains inhospitable for humans, but perfect for boars.

WN.com,

For more on this story and video go to: https://article.wn.com/view/2018/03/09/wild_boars_taking_over_japanese_towns_as_humans_age_and_move/

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