Wild boar, or ‘Sus scrofa’ -as they are officially known in the latin binomial nomenclature used for animals – is a species of pigs,. They are in fact the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises.
Wild boars are actually native to Northern and Central Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa’s Atlas Mountains and much of Asia and are known for being both especially tasty when eaten – and not at all docile like their domesticated breathern.
However it has been in Germany, and in particular Berlin, the German capital, that they has been raising both eyebrows and a lot of ire.
There has been an undeclared ‘Boar War’ – if you will excuse the pun -, which has been going on in various parts of Germany, including Berlin and its surroundings for some years now. It even claimed its first human victim a year ago not far from Berlin, when an enraged and in this case aptly named very ‘wild’ boar fell upon a hunter who later bled to death, near Linthe, just 70 km outside Berlin.
Zoologists are calling them Germany’s most dangerous animals – not including some ‘Union Berlin’ football supporters – wild boars seem to have started terrorizing the German countryside again, as indeed they have done for centuries before.
And indeed even urban city centers are now having problems with the beasts with many leaving a veritable reign of destruction in their paths.
And while all of this is going on we have a new phenomenon – one called ‘radioactive boars’ which are on the rise in Germany and no one is sure why this is exactly.
‘Geiger counters’ are showing increasing amounts of radioactivity in the meat of these animals and has become a problem – boar’s meat is by all accounts very tasty but has now become potentially dangerous for consumption and has to be burnt and dumped.
Scientists now believe that, even so many years after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Ukraine, the fallout has caused excessive levels of radioactivity – more than in previous years.
It is an good indication of how long radioactive fallout remains a problem in the environment – with boars as a species being more susceptible than most to long-term radio activity. This due to the fact that wild boars feed on mushrooms and truffles which store a lot of radioactivity, called Cesium to be exact.
‘Cesium-137’ from Chernobyl is moving deeper into the soil and has now reached a depth at exactly the layer where the boars’ favorite types of truffles grow – humans apparently don’t eat these.
However, while wild boars are feeling a chill wind from man’s activity –being poisoned and then being hunted – with the added humiliation of being rejected as food – they are on the other hand actually benefiting, as a species from climate change.
Parts of Central and Eastern Europe with warmer weather is having the reaction of causing beech and oak trees to overproduce seeds which they eat. And also more crops are being grown such as corn and/or rape-seed and they the animals really like to ‘pig-out’ on these [sorry for pun again] .
Besides Germany, France and Poland are also seeing a similar proliferation of wild boars but have as yet not recorded any problems relating to radioactivity.
Hunters and German health authorities have assured consumers – they do like their meat and various ‘wursts’ in Germany -that none of the problematic meat will end up on their tables and has compensated hunters for the animals it has had to destroy.
In someway related to the news of the German ‘nuclear schwein problem’ German chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Germany’s nuclear power companies should not only contribute to the expansion of renewable energies along with paying a proposed nuclear fuel tax.
The country’s largest utilities, RWE and EON, Germany’s main nuclear plant operators, [which also include Vattenfall and EnBW ] have called on Ms Merkel to drop the controversial nuclear fuel tax
Meanwhile many of Germany’s municipal utility companies oppose the planned life-time extension of nuclear plants after themselves having invested billions of Euros into other forms of power generation.
Ms Merkel’s government-appointed Energy commission is set to present its initial results from its study of Germany’s energy future within the near future and the impact of the planned reversal of the nuclear phase-out law will be closely watched – Germany’s anti-nuclear lobby is large and seems to be growing.
Meanwhile the German nuclear piglets feast on ‘Cesium-127’ flavored mushrooms and truffles and life goes on.
Radioactive ‘Wilde-Schwein’ boars – ‘nuclear-piglets’ taste the same – but are not good to eat – German hunters and chefs have a problem! from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.