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. Elon Musk Surpasses Jeff Bezos to Become World’s Richest Person, Bitcoin’s Volatility Resumes After $40,000 Topped for First Time, Tesla Call Was Completely Wrong, RBC Says After 1,200% Rally, JPMorgan Says Bitcoin Could Surge to $146,000 in Long Term, Ford’s Switch to New F-150 Spurs Double-Digit Sales Drop. This robot — “Monster Wolf” — is actually a bear deterrent. 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. “It was first time we had bear attacks,” he said. 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. Wild bears were spotted more than 13,000 times across Japan between April and September 2020. The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore. Photographer: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images. The mechanical ‘Monster Wolf,’ a contraption meant to scare away bears, is seen in a rice field in Kisarazu, Chiba prefecture. “Bears might have expanded their areas of activities after not seeing humans around during spring and early summer season,” he said. New generations of bears that grew up near populated areas are less afraid of encounters with humans, he also said.Â. While some local governments set annual culling quotas to manage bear populations, the island of Hokkaido takes a different approach. Japan recorded its highest number of bear attacks ever in 2020, with experts warning attacks could become more frequent still. Have a confidential tip for our reporters? The incident came only days after two people died in separate bear attacks, both in populated areas. Despite being protected by wildlife conservation laws, thousands of bears are killed each year as part of local governments’ pest control efforts. This was a bad year for acorn yields, and the lack of food may have driven the bears closer to civilization. “The problem cannot be solved by wildlife management alone. Yuki Tasei grows expensive grapes called shine muscats on his fruit farm in Takahata, Yamagata prefecture. This year has been abnormal … we’ve already had 10 reports’’ says Ai Sasaki, a municipal official in Takikawa city, 90 kilometres from the regional capital Sapporo. There have been dozens of attacks … Oak trees alternate each year between heavy and low production of acorns, a staple food for bears. The … 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. 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. 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. It has to be treated in a much wider context, as part of national agricultural and land planning,’’ he said. “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. Audience ratings certified by ACPM/OJD. In rural Japan more bears have been entering towns, resulting in at least two fatal attacks this year. Tokyo: Four people foraging for edible wild plants or bamboo shoots were killed in bear attacks in a small area of northern Japan in three weeks, … Climate change has also been attributed to the surge in bear attacks in Japan recently, as it has forced a growing number of … There are multiple factors behind the increased number of bear sightings, according to Shinsuke Koike, an associate professor of ecology at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and deputy representative of the Japan Bear Network, which runs lectures and studies on promoting the co-existence of bears and humans. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later, the same bear fractured the leg of another worker at a nearby construction site. 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 … Bear sightings are at a five-year high, mostly in rural areas in western and northern Japan, national broadcaster NHK has reported. Bear tracks nearby and a glimpse of a bear around midnight provided evidence corroborating her story. A mix of factors, from coronavirus lockdowns to a bad year for acorns, drive bears to seek food where humans live. 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. Japan declared a nationwide lockdown from April to May, with many stores and factories shortening their operating hours and people strongly encouraged to stay home. Experts warn that with increased rural depopulation, bear attacks could become more frequent still. Bears ate up as much as 40 kilograms of his crop in October, causing 100,000 yen ($963) of damage. “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.’’. With rural villages being inhabited by fewer and aging residents, crops and fruit are being left unharvested, drawing wild animals towards them. 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. 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. Local media attributes this to an acorn shortage that has driven the bears to … But experts point to a larger problem of rural depopulation and unmanaged woodlands. According to the rail company’s data, there were 224 cases of trains getting delayed for more than 10 minutes in the last six fiscal years due to collisions with wild animals in the Fukui area. At least two people have been killed and more than 140 injured in Japan in the last six months as the number of bear sightings in populated areas has reached a five-year high and the country is facing its worst year ever for attacks. “It’s a delicate balancing act,” said Hiroki Kondo, another city official. 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. There is a bear crisis in Takikawa, a town on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. 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. The gruesome incident occurred in … Between April and September this year, wild bears were spotted 13,670 times across Japan, the most over a six-month period in the last five years, data from the environment ministry showed. 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. 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. Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. The coronavirus outbreak may also have affected the bears’ behavior, Koike said. International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Sankebetsu brown bear incident (三毛別羆事件, Sankebetsu higuma jiken), also referred to as the Rokusensawa bear attack (六線沢熊害事件, Rokusensawa yūgai jiken) or the Tomamae brown bear incident (苫前羆事件, Tomamae higuma jiken), was the worst bear attack in Japanese history, killing seven settlers in Rokusensawa, Sankebetsu, Tomamae, Rumoi, Hokkaidō, Japan. In some cases, the bears leave damaged property in their wake. If you surprise a black bear and it charges or attacks, fight back with everything you have! The 1.3-meter-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. Bears caused on average 426.7 million yen in crop damage per fiscal year from 1999 to 2018, according to government data. 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. 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. Japan declares state of emergency in Tokyo as Covid-19 cases surge, US Secretary of State Pompeo threatens sanctions over Hong Kong mass arrests, Vaccinating 300 million people: How India plans to roll-out vast Covid-19 vaccine drive, WHO Covid-19 expert mission to China beset by delays and politics, Kim opens N. Korean congress with admission of economic policy failures, Dozens of Hong Kong pro-democracy figures arrested under national security law, Speculation over whereabouts of Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma, Malaysian coroner says French-Irish teen’s death likely a ‘misadventure’, Japan PM considers declaring Covid-19 state of emergency in Tokyo area, India approves two Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use, Thousands march to mark a year since death of Iran's general Soleimani, India approves Oxford's AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. Worst Wild Bear Attacks in Five Years During Virus A mix of factors, from coronavirus lockdowns to a bad year for acorns, People managed woods on the outskirts of their villages, and animals kept to their natural habitat. 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 … 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. 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 … The transportation sector has also had run-ins with wildlife from the mountains. 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. Photographer: Hiroshi Yokota via Shinsuke Koike. Do not try to climb a tree. 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. Fatal bear attacks are rare in Japan; however, the number of bear attacks in Akita prefecture has risen in recent years. Ministry of environment figures show that around 5,500 bears have been culled so far this year, approaching a record set in 2019. Koike, the professor, suggested a more benign tactic. Japan’s human population is shrinking and its forests are expanding, and the numbers of bears are growing across large areas of the country. 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. 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. Seven people were killed when a rogue bear went on a rampage, attacking remote farmhouses, and it kept killing despite being shot. In many northern regions, the number of reported bear sightings reached the highest in over a decade. Scientists say it is time the government took more comprehensive measures. Gunshots rang out on October 19 at a large shopping mall in Kaga, a city of 65,000 inhabitants on the Sea of Japan’s coast. The company says about 70 “wolves” have been purchased by Japanese farmers in the last three years. 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. Some local companies are now seeking solutions to keep bears away from residential areas. “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. Only fight back if the attack persists. And yes, bear attacks were something of a … If you surprise a grizzly/brown bear and it charges or attacks, do not fight back! IVF: The last chance for Kenya's white rhinos? 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 … Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning, Take international news everywhere with you! “Many wild animals jump in front of running trains every year,” said Shoriki Yamazaki, a spokesman of the Kanazawa Branch of JR West. A zoo employee was mauled to death by a group of bears over the weekend in China as visitors watched in horror. Issued on: 07/12/2020 - 19:24Modified: 07/12/2020 - 19:27. The city of Takikawa, Japan, deployed these robowolves to prevent bear attacks. With the younger generation moving to the cities, aging residents are unable to harvest crops or fruits grown in their gardens, which tempt starving wild animals. 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. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa prefecture. France 24 is not responsible for the content of external websites. © 2021 Copyright France 24 - All rights reserved. The sharp increase this year is partly attributed to a shortage of acorns, the main food for bears, as well as reduced human activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. 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. It is nothing short of a miracle that Wes Perkins is … But lately, Hokkaido is also having to deal with increasing numbers of bear attacks in urban areas. Never run from a surprised bear because it can cause a predatory reaction from the bear. According to CNN, sightings of brown bears are at a five-year high, and bears have attacked … The attack took place on Saturday in the park’s “wild beasts area”, an open area for bears where they can roam freely while tourists visit in specialised vehicles. Japan has experienced an unusually high number of black-bear attacks this year. At least two people have been killed and more than 140 injured in Japan in the last six months as the number of bear sightings in populated areas has reached a … “Bear sightings have been rare in our city, with only about one reported every five years. Wes Perkins, Grizzly Bear, Alaska, Non-Fatal. 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. “Up until the 1970s, there were clear boundaries between rural towns and forests. Explore dynamic updates of the earth’s key data points. Now towns are turning to hi-tech robot wolves to ward off the threat the animals pose. 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 … “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. France 24 - International breaking news, top stories and headlines. When a bear went on a rampage in rural Japan, killing seven people IT was the bear attack that stunned a nation. 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