Radioactive Hogs Storm Germany

You think Texas has a wild boar problem? Well the Lone Star State swine got nothing on the hogs in Germany. According to German newspaper Spiegel Online, wild radioactive boars are wreaking havoc in forests and towns. Recently, a man in a wheelchair was attacked by a boar in a park in Berlin, and in July a herd of two dozen hogs tromped through a town called Eisenach.

Perhaps the biggest problem, is that you can't eat the boars. They're contaminated thanks to leftover radioactivity from the Chernobyl meltdown. German hunters have been killing the pigs (they killed 650,000 last season), trying to decrease the population, but what's the fun of hog hunting if you can't barbecue it after? For compensation, the German government has been paying hunters for bringing in contaminated meat, and it doled out more than half a million dollars last year. That's four times more than it paid in 2007.

"In the last couple of years, wild boar have rapidly multiplied," a spokesman from the Environment Ministry told Spiegel. "Not only is there more corn being farmed, but warmer winters have also contributed to a boar boom."

And the problem isn't going away anytime soon. The boars are especially prone to contamination because they love to eat mushrooms and truffles, which absorb radioactivity better than most other plants. Officials from the German Hunting Federation expect the problem to be around for the next 50 years.

Photo from Spiegel Online