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. Wild bears were spotted more than 13,000 times across Japan between April and September 2020. 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. France 24 - International breaking news, top stories and headlines. Climate change has also been attributed to the surge in bear attacks in Japan recently, as it has forced a growing number of … The gruesome incident occurred in … Ministry of environment figures show that around 5,500 bears have been culled so far this year, approaching a record set in 2019. Bear sightings are at a five-year high, mostly in rural areas in western and northern Japan, national broadcaster NHK has reported. 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. Seven people were killed when a rogue bear went on a rampage, attacking remote farmhouses, and it kept killing despite being shot. © 2021 Copyright France 24 - All rights reserved. Bears ate up as much as 40 kilograms of his crop in October, causing 100,000 yen ($963) of damage. If you surprise a grizzly/brown bear and it charges or attacks, do not fight back! “It was first time we had bear attacks,” he said. 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. While still extremely rare in a country with 127 million people, bear encounters are on the rise across rural Japan. Japan’s human population is shrinking and its forests are expanding, and the numbers of bears are growing across large areas of the country. 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. 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. Oak trees alternate each year between heavy and low production of acorns, a staple food for bears. 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. Photographer: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images. 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. 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The 1.3-meter-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. 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. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa prefecture. In many northern regions, the number of reported bear sightings reached the highest in over a decade. 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 … Japan has experienced an unusually high number of black-bear attacks this year. “The problem cannot be solved by wildlife management alone. Now towns are turning to hi-tech robot wolves to ward off the threat the animals pose. 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