The Fukushima prefectural government said Friday that at least 1,000 cattle have escaped the confines of their farm homesteads within the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and have likely gone feral.
Just prior to the March 11 disaster, the prefecture counted a total of 3,500 cattle, 30,000 pigs, and 440,000 chickens inside of what is now the exclusion zone. Since the accident, prefectural authorities said they had euthanized 59 cattle, 2,996 pigs and 367 chickens the permission of farm owners as of Aug 31.
Additionally, according to a report on NHK, the vast majority of the rest of the pigs and chickens within the exclusion zone have died of natural causes – mostly by starvation. Authorities have yet to locate the bodies of any cattle, however, leading them to conclude that most of them are running wild.