Beware Radioactive Wild Pigs
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If you are headed south from Prague down towards Cesky Krumlov and you’re thinking about trekking in the Sumava National Park or eating wild boar then it might surprise you to know that there’s a Radioactivity health warning attached.
In 1986 the Ukrainian nuclear power station at Chernobyl blew up and spewed hundreds of tons of radioactive debris and dust into the atmosphere. This dispersed over a period of months but weather patterns at the time meant that southern Czech had radioactive debris fall on it at least three separate times.
Cesium, the main radioactive element has a half-life of 30 years, so we still have 30 more years to go before it’s absolutely gone explained the head of the department of food safety of the State Veterinary Administration, George Drápal.
So this is where the wild pigs come in. In the late 1980’s there were bumper crops of mushrooms in the Sumava forests (mushrooms seem to have a capacity to absorb radioactivity). Since then, the wild pigs have simply been foraging for food in radioactive areas and have absorbed a certain amount of Cesium that could pose a risk to health but the risk is small. See the points below:
- More people are injured by a wild pig defending it’s young than from radioactivity.
- To absorb an amount of Cesium dangerous to your health you would have to eat 40Kg of contaminated meat per year.
So if you see a lonely baby wild pig, pay close attention to your surroundings and walk in the opposite direction of mummy wild pig. Cut down the amount of wild boar that you eat to less than 20Kg and lastly, enjoy your forest walk.
Photo Credit: idnes.cz
Edited and Translated from the Original Story in Czech Language