Reader Kirjath sent me a link to a Yahoo article about boar problems in Germany.
Climate change has been good to the boars of Central Europe and they are flourishing. According to the article:
Central Europe is turning into a land of plenty for the animals, as warmer weather causes beech and oak trees to overproduce seeds and farmers to grow more crops the boars like to feast on such as corn or rape, said Torsten Reinwald of the German Hunting Federation.
“The number of boars in Germany has quadrupled or quintupled over the last years, as has the number of boars shot,” Reinwald said, adding that other countries like France and Poland are seeing a similar proliferation of boars.
So you may laugh at the proliferation of boars in Middle-earth, but something along those lines seems to be happening in Middle Europe. How soon until we see LOTRO-like quest givers offering bounties to solve their boar problems?
Unfortunately, there is more to the boar problem. Some of these boars are radioactive.
It seems that the after effects of the Chernobyl nuclear accident still haunt Europe 24 years later. The radioactive Cesium-137 in the fallout has moved deeper into the soil over the years, and is now at about the same level that truffles favor, which boars in turn seek out.
So remember that tainted boar meat quest in Hellfire Peninsula? The same thing is happening, after a fashion, in Germany. Only it is the German government paying out for the tainted meat.
So while the profusion of boars has caused a dip in the price of the meat, making your Schweinehaxe a bit more affordable, the whole nuclear truffle thing might make you think twice before making it a treat you indulge in frequently.