Why this story matters:
Although doctors have reported an increase of some types of cancer, no study results on the impact of Chernobyl have been made public -- not even in Moldavia, the North-Eastern region most affected.
Despite the fact that official data ascribes only 60,000 deaths to Chernobyl, the disaster is thought to have affected the lives of up to 5 million people. This radioactive boar exposes an inconvenient truth: we don't know to what extent the catastrophe still impacts our environment.
Details from the story:
- The Chernobyl disaster occured on April 26, 1986. Romania's communist party, which controlled the press, announced it a week later.
- The 3-year-old male wild boar was shot on a hunting ground, 10 km from the Romanian border with Ukraine. Its meat presents elevated levels of Cesium 137 and Cesium 134 -- radioactive isotopes most likely left over from the Chernobyl accident.
- The head of Romsilva, the institution that administrates Romanian forests, said that it is the first time that foresters have encountered such situation.
- According to the Romanian environmental authorities, the examination of the radioactivity of soil, water and air -- including plants from meadows and pastures -- will soon follow, in order to identify the source of radiation. Pasturing and harvesting will be illegal in those areas.
- The authorities will also collect 10 samples and analyze the next 100 boars hunted over the following 12 months