Wednesday, August 11, 2010

RADIOACTIVE BOARS!

In the news lately, they've been talking about these feral pigs in Germany that are called wild boars, and they are RADIOACTIVE!  And the way they got that way is that 25 years ago, which was a long time before I was even born, there was an accident at a place in Russia called Chernobyl, where they were making nuclear energy.  And after the accident, this radioactive stuff kind of drifted through the air all over Europe, and some of it is still there, even after all this time.

So what is happening with the wild boars in Germany is that they are very busy making baby boars, and the number of boars keeps growing and growing.  In most places, boars have 4 or 5 piglets in a litter, but in Germany, they have 6 or 8 piglets.  The piglets are very cute, with stripes, kind of like chipmunks, but then they grow up to be big, mean-looking boars.  And anyway, what the boars like to eat is stuff like mushrooms and truffles, which grow in the ground and suck up all the icky radioactive stuff that ended up there.

Then after the boars eat the radioactive mushrooms, their meat might be radioactive, so it's not very safe for people to eat.  Except that you would probably have to eat a whole bunch of it every single day for years before it really made you sick.  But now the German people have to test the boar meat to find out if it is safe or not before they eat it.

And the hunters who are supposed to be shooting the boars and keeping the number of them under control don't like to hunt them so much anymore because they don't make a lot of money doing it, even though the government pays them something to make up for the fact that they can't sell their boar meat to restaurants.

So there are lots of boars running around in Germany, and sometimes they are trying to live in the same places that people are trying to live.  So a boar might wander into a supermarket or a church service.  Or sometimes they get in the road and cause people to have wrecks.

Wild boars are not like the nice pink pigs you see living on farms.  They are big and they have stiff, bristly hair and sharp tusks.  A boar can weigh between 200 and 400 pounds, so it's not the kind of small cuddly animal you want to have as a pet in your apartment.  Wild boars are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.  And now they also live in the Americas and Australia because people brought them there so they could hunt them and eat them.  In America, wild boars are usually called razorbacks, and they like to go to college at the University of Arkansas.

I wish I could eat some wild boar meat because it looks really juicy and yummy in the photos, but I don't want to eat it if it's radioactive because I'm afraid it might do something weird to me, like maybe turn me into a cat!

7 comments:

  1. Do the radioactive boars glow in the dark? That would be neat to see.

    Your friend
    Zest, superstar in training

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  2. I don't know if they glow in the dark or not, but I heard on the news this morning that there are shrimp that glow in the dark. They are not radioactive and they are supposed to be safe to eat, but I'm not sure if I would eat one or not. Well, okay, I probably would!

    Your friend, Piper

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  3. mom says many things in the ocean glow in the dark. it's called bioluminescence (that's a big impressive word!) Here's a cool pic of a glow in the dark ocean:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bioluminescent_dinoflagellates.jpg

    -Z

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  4. Yeah! Bioluminescence! That was the big, long word they used to describe the shrimp that glowed in the dark. Your mom is very clever to be able to remember such a long word. My mom and I forgot it as soon as we heard it! I wonder if you eat a bunch of bioluminescent stuff whether your insides start glowing. If they do, you wouldn't have to get an x-ray in order to find out what if something was wrong inside you. This could help save money on vet bills, which Mom thinks is a good idea.
    Your friend, Piper

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  5. Guess I'm a day or two behind! WOW...boars sure are a mean looking animal. I wondered about the boars in Arkansas. I was in Bella Vista, AR, last week and there were signs all over about "Arkansas Razorbacks." People even have their pictures on their license plates. I didn't realize they go to college there, but that's good to know.

    I feel sorry for the people in Russia who have to test the boar meat before eating it. I also have other reasons for feeling sorry for the people in Russia. I do remember the accident in Chernobyl. I also remember seeing on the news at that time, an Olympic gold medalist from many many years ago, named Olga Korbut, and she was demonstrating againt the government about the Chernobyl accident. Olga didn't think the government was doing enough to help the people. I also remember thinking, "gosh she has not aged well"...but that's another story, and it was very very brave of her to speak up against the government.

    oops - I almsot forgot to add that the baby boars sure are cute, and it's too bad they grow up to be so mean - or at least they look mean.
    Love, AP

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  6. Dear Aunt Patty,
    I think the boars look mean and scary, too, but the babies are very cute! Mom says that the people in Arkansas are crazy about razorbacks just like the people in Missouri are crazy about Tigers and the people in Kansas are crazy about Jayhawks. Personally, I think anybody who is that crazy about sports is just plain nuts.
    Love, Piper

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