Bear sightings have become so common in recent years that Japan’s government has issued guidelines for schoolchildren on what to do if they come across one on their way home. In August, a teenager was knocked off his bicycle by a young cub. There have been dozens of attacks … Hokkaido-based Ohta Seiki has a patent pending for its mechanical “Monster-Wolf,” which emits 90-decibel roars and moves its neck just like the bears’ predator. People in northern Japan have been warned to stay away from mountain forests after four people were killed in a spate of bear attacks, amid a dramatic rise in … Photographer: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images. Seven people were killed when a rogue bear went on a rampage, attacking remote farmhouses, and it kept killing despite being shot. Koike, the professor, suggested a more benign tactic. “We want to protect wild animals as much as we can, but protecting human lives comes above all else. Our aim is to find the best way for bears and humans to coexist peacefully.’’. The Japan Bear and Forest Society read a preview of a segment to be aired on July 19 about a famous 2009 bear attack in Gifu Prefecture that … “The problem cannot be solved by wildlife management alone. If you surprise a black bear and it charges or attacks, fight back with everything you have! Watch growling ‘Monster Wolf’ robot scare off bear in Japan A group of hikers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ended their trek in horror after discovering a bear … The attacks have revived memories of Japan’s deadliest bear attacks, known collectively as the Sankebetsu incident, in which an 8.85ft brown bear weighing 749lb killed seven villagers and … In some cases, the bears leave damaged property in their wake. Have a confidential tip for our reporters? "This was an unprovoked, aggressive attack," … The latter, also known as the Asian black bear, is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) mostly due to deforestation and hunting for use in traditional medicine. Japan recorded its highest number of bear attacks ever in 2020, with experts warning attacks could become more frequent still. Alarmed, the city installed recently developed “robot wolves’’, designed to scare off beasts with flashing LED lights and blaring noise, to send them back into the wild.  Since installing them in September, it has received no reports of bear sightings. Human flesh, hair found inside Japan bear after fatal attacks 20 Jul 2018 The coronavirus outbreak may also have affected the bears’ behaviour, Koike said. 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Shortly afterwards, the body of a large adult bear was carried out of the building, 13 hours after it wandered into the complex and caused panic among local residents. Worst Wild Bear Attacks in Five Years During Virus A mix of factors, from coronavirus lockdowns to a bad year for acorns, “It was first time we had bear attacks,” he said. There were a number of fatal bear attacks recently in northern Japan and efforts are under way in some areas to keep better track of the animals. Climate change has also been attributed to the surge in bear attacks in Japan recently, as it has forced a growing number of … Japan is home to two species of bear – the Higuma, which exists only on the northern island of Hokkaido, and the Tsukinowaguma, which can be found in the rest of the country. Bear attacks Some 168 bear attacks were reported in Japan between April 2014 and March 2016, according to Environment Ministry data and 176 people suffered injuries or died in those attacks. © 2021 Copyright France 24 - All rights reserved. Issued on: 07/12/2020 - 19:24Modified: 07/12/2020 - 19:27. Now towns are turning to hi-tech robot wolves to ward off the threat the animals pose. Bear sightings are at a five-year high, mostly in rural areas in western and northern Japan, national broadcaster NHK has reported. The Sankebetsu brown bear incident (三毛別羆事件, Sankebetsu Higuma jiken), which occurred in December 1915 at Sankei in the Sankebetsu district was the worst bear attack in Japanese history, and resulted in the deaths of seven people and the injuring of three others. Japan’s human population is shrinking and its forests are expanding, and the numbers of bears are growing across large areas of the country. Photographer: Hiroshi Yokota via Shinsuke Koike. Download the France 24 app, Fewer tourists, more nosh: Record increase in Galapagos penguins and cormorants, Culling of more than one million minks starts in Denmark. “It’s a delicate balancing act,” said Hiroki Kondo, another city official. “Many wild animals jump in front of running trains every year,” said Shoriki Yamazaki, a spokesman of the Kanazawa Branch of JR West. Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning, Take international news everywhere with you! If you surprise a grizzly/brown bear and it charges or attacks, do not fight back! The … With rural villages being inhabited by fewer and aging residents, crops and fruit are being left unharvested, drawing wild animals towards them. On the morning of October 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway Co. was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside the Tsuruga station in Japan’s northwestern Fukui prefecture. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Japan has experienced an unusually high number of black-bear attacks this year. According to Japan’s ministry of environment, more than 140 people have been injured since April as the country’s number of bear sightings reached a five-year high. “Up until the 1970s, there were clear boundaries between rural towns and forests. While some local governments set annual culling quotas to manage bear populations, the island of Hokkaido takes a different approach. Audience ratings certified by ACPM/OJD. A zoo employee was mauled to death by a group of bears over the weekend in China as visitors watched in horror. The transportation sector has also had run-ins with wildlife from the mountains. Local media attributes this to an acorn shortage that has driven the bears to … Yuki Tasei grows expensive grapes called shine muscats on his fruit farm in Takahata, Yamagata prefecture. It has to be treated in a much wider context, as part of national agricultural and land planning,’’ he said. The mechanical ‘Monster Wolf,’ a contraption meant to scare away bears, is seen in a rice field in Kisarazu, Chiba prefecture. There is a bear crisis in Takikawa, a town on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. When a bear went on a rampage in rural Japan, killing seven people IT was the bear attack that stunned a nation. Explore dynamic updates of the earth’s key data points. The 4-foot bear first attacked people at a bus parking lot then entered a lodge where it was trapped in a … A bear attack warning has been issued in northern Japan after four people were killed in separate attacks. In many northern regions, the number of reported bear sightings reached the highest in over a decade. Bears ate up as much as 40 kilograms of his crop in October, causing 100,000 yen ($963) of damage. New generations of bears that grew up near populated areas are less afraid of encounters with humans, he also said.Â. The city of Takikawa, Japan, deployed these robowolves to prevent bear attacks. France 24 is not responsible for the content of external websites. Bear attacks have risen in Japan this year and sightings of the animals have spiked in the last six months, as climate change means they have left their natural habitat in the search for food. Despite being protected by wildlife conservation laws, thousands of bears are killed each year as part of local governments’ pest control efforts. Experts warn that with increased rural depopulation, bear attacks could become more frequent still. Shinsuke Koike, associate professor of ecology at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, says a concerted strategy is needed such as large-scale zoning –  establishing clear boundaries or buffers to separate people and wildlife – and addressing farmland abandonment.Â. Bear attacks on humans are not unusual in mountainous Akita prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu, but fatal ones are, with only eight tallied from 1979 through last year. Oak trees alternate each year between heavy and low production of acorns, a staple food for bears. While still extremely rare in a country with 127 million people, bear encounters are on the rise across rural Japan. Around 572 hectares of forest were destroyed on average annually over the last five fiscal years, including when bears stripped the bark off trees as they foraged. According to CNN, sightings of brown bears are at a five-year high, and bears have attacked … The region abandoned controlled culling in the late 1980s following a decline in the population of Higuma, worshipped by indigenous Ainu people as their most important god. “Abandoned farmland and unmanaged woods provided new habitat for the female and (for) cubs running away from older male bears in the mountains,’’ Maita said. This was a bad year for acorn yields, and the lack of food may have driven the bears closer to civilization. Published on Sep 20, 2009 http://tinyurl.com/y985uw2 An Asian black bear has been shot dead after attacking a group of tourists at a bus station in central Japan. But in the past few decades, as hunters aged and younger generations left the countryside to work in cities, those borders became blurred,’’ Kazuhiko Maita, head of the Institute for Asian Black Bear Research and Preservation, told FRANCE 24. “We have received an unprecedented number of reports of bear sightings this year in Kaga,” said Yukio Yamagishi, a director at the city’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division. Bears caused on average 426.7 million yen in crop damage per fiscal year from 1999 to 2018, according to government data. Takako Saito, a 73-year-old resident of Sekikawa village, some 250 kilometers north of Tokyo, died Sunday — the first death resulting from a bear attack in … Most are shot after wandering into human areas, but some are culled as part of population management – even though their precise numbers are not known. The company says about 70 “wolves” have been purchased by Japanese farmers in the last three years. Do not try to climb a tree. France 24 - International breaking news, top stories and headlines. Fatal bear attacks are rare in Japan; however, the number of bear attacks in Akita prefecture has risen in recent years. Only fight back if the attack persists. The Sankebetsu brown bear incident, also referred to as the Rokusensawa bear attack or the Tomamae brown bear incident was the worst bear attack in Japanese history, killing seven settlers in Rokusensawa, Sankebetsu, Tomamae, Rumoi, Hokkaido.The incident took place between December 9 and 14, 1915 after a large brown bear woke up from hibernation and repeatedly attacked several houses in the area. In rural Japan more bears have been entering towns, resulting in at least two fatal attacks this year. Mercedes Meets CO2 Target With Late-Year Surge in EV Sales, Blue Wave Is Seen Jolting Environmental and Social Bond Sales, Crop Trader ADM Pours Money Into Firm Making Meat Out of Air, U.K. Looks at Allowing Gene Editing to Boost Farming. A mix of factors, from coronavirus lockdowns to a bad year for acorns, drive bears to seek food where humans live. The 1.3-meter-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. “It's important to draw a clear boundary between human and bear areas, by trimming the lawn or removing attractions for bears including unharvested fruits or food waste, so that bears can distinguish their home and won't mistakenly enter where humans live,” he said. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa prefecture. But lately, Hokkaido is also having to deal with increasing numbers of bear attacks in urban areas. Wes Perkins, Grizzly Bear, Alaska, Non-Fatal. Bear tracks nearby and a glimpse of a bear around midnight provided evidence corroborating her story. 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