Rabbit Born Without Ears in Fukushima?

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    Update: The rabbit was confirmed to be in Fukushima. However, there is no evidence that the birth defect was caused by radiation. In the months since this news was reported, there have been no other similar cases reported.

    A YouTube user claiming to be from Fukushima uploaded this video clip on May 21st. It shows a baby rabbit that was supposedly born without ears:

    The YouTube user’s location is listed as the Tsushima area of Namie town, which happens to lie at the northwest edge of the original 30 kilometer exclusion zone set up around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. According to data released by the Japanese and U.S. governments, it was one of the places that suffered from considerable radioactive. Based on that data, the Japanese government expanded the evacuation zone in April, telling all residents of Namie to leave the area.

    The anonymous uploader claims that there is “cover-up” [隠蔽工作] taking place. Apparently this rabbit is proof that the government has been lying about the health risk from the radiation leak. He/She claims that rabbits have a faster life cycle than humans, so they are an indication of what may eventually happen to human babies in Japan.

    The video has gone viral, getting over 375,000 views in just a few days.

    While the video has received a lot of attention and support from conspiracy theorists, there are also several comments on YouTube that question the authentically of the video. Critics point out that:

    • There is no evidence that this video was actually filmed in Fukushima.
    • There is no evidence that this video was filmed after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
    • Some of the Japanese phrases used in the video description sound unnatural. Was this video even uploaded by somebody in Japan?
    • This looks awfully clean to be a birth defect caused by radiation.
    • Earless rabbits are not uncommon.

    Related Link: Here’s an earless rabbit that was born in the U.K. back in 2008.

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