The Boar Hunter Who Loves Boars
Ride along with Sakura Yoshida as she hunts wild boars in Japan, and balances her love for animals while still doing her important work.
Kevin Pang

Sakura Yoshida sees the problem becoming out of control. Wild boars, who have no natural predator other than humans, are overpopulating and destroying rice fields, yards, and properties in her native Japan. How is Japan dealing with this? Humanely hunting the indigenous wild boars and turning a problem into food.

Sakura is a hunter who loves animals, but in the end, her loyalty is to humans. For many hunters such as Sakura, the act of hunting is more nuanced and complicated than "going for the kill." She finds herself balancing her allegiances to both animals and humanity, because she has to for the sake of her community.

In this episode of Proof, join reporter Hannah Kirshner, author of Water, Wood, and Wild Things, as she follows Sakura on a wild boar hunt, and comes away rethinking her own relationship with what we eat. Available now on your favorite podcast providers.

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Sakura setting a box trap.
Sakura setting a box trap.
Two hunters walking together through the snowy woods
Sakura and her fellow hunter walking together through the snowy woods.
close up on feet of wild boar
The hooves of a young wild boar.
Far out shot of hunters gutting boar by river
Sakura and her friends gut a boar in the river.
close up of thinly sliced boar meat
Thinly sliced boar meat for shishi nabe, game stew.
a plate of raw boar chops
A plate of boar chops.

Photos: Hannah Kirshner

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