Photo: Pakutaso
national

Bear bounty introduced by Akita governor pays ¥5,000 per bear to hunters

39 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Akita, in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region, has seen a startling increase in the number of bear attacks that have taken place in the prefecture this year. Earlier this month, four senior citizens were attacked by a bear in the same day in Akita City, all requiring hospital treatment. As of Monday, 53 people have been attacked by bears in Akita, roughly three times more than the highest previous annual number.

In response, Akira governor Norihisa Satake called a press conference in which he declared a bounty on bears in the prefecture. “As a prefecture, we will be providing financial support to those who hunt bears,” Satake promised. Under the program, hunters will be paid 5,000 yen for each bear they bag, with the money meant to offset transportation and ammunition expenses.

Ordinarily, when potentially dangerous wildlife shows up in human-inhabited areas in Japan, a dispatch request is sent to local hunting organizations, who are paid for their services. With Akita’s recreational bear-hunting season set to reopen next month, though, the bear bounty would financially incentivize hunting bears outside of settled areas as well.

Conflicts between bears and humanity in Akita Prefecture aren’t an entirely new development. The Akita breed of dog, adorable as it may look, was originally bred as a bear-hunting companion (and sometimes those instincts still kick in). A series of deadly bear attacks also occurred in Akita in 2016, coinciding with, of all things, the broadcast of a Tohoku-set anime TV series starring a friendly bear.

Regarding the bounty, Akita Prefecture does have annual limits on the number of bears that can be hunted within a single season, so the aim isn’t to completely eradicate the local bear population. Secondly, because obtaining/owning a gun in Japan is a complicated, expensive process, the intent of the 5,000-yen incentive is most likely to encourage experienced hunters to hunt more/in a wider area, not to convince inexperienced citizens to quit their day jobs and become full-time bear bounty hunters.

Source: NHK News Web via Jin, Asahi Shimbun

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
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There should be a proper culling program with a set number of bears that need to be culled, not just open season on the bears. How about planting more acorn and fruit bearing trees for the bears? Seems like anything involving population control in Japan is met with short sighted and ineffective policies.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

What the blue blazes is? Is this the 19th Century or something?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

$50 ?…not even…are they supplying ammunition?

That’s a joke. Ever try to track a bear?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

5000jpy is just very silly amount....

11 ( +15 / -4 )

And we wonder how animals went extinct in the past?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Have they established the root cause of why they are flocking towards urban areas? Bears generally stay away from humans as they are also afraid of us but only attack if they feel threatened or are in need of food and you happen to be near it. Perhaps using that money to help repopulate their food source in their natural habitats will allow for them to move back and stay there as a long term option?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Bears are going this cheap nowadays?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Does ¥5,000 cover the cost of the ammo?

Bears coming out of their natural habitats because of food shortages. Long hot summer.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I can’t see many hunters going out of their way for a $50 reward.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Ive got unfortunate news for anyone who thinks 5000jpy is 50usd

10 ( +13 / -3 )

If I were a bear, I'd actually be insulted that the bounty on my head was only 5,000 yen.

I can’t see many hunters going out of their way for a $50 reward.

It's actually $33. Presuming you mean dollars of the American variety.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Instead of KILLING BEARS ow about educating people as to what to do when encountered by one then moving people out of bears Territory!!! Bears were there before them and people need to STAY AWAY.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Among a number of seriously backward things about Japan, their approach to managing wildlife is really ridiculous. In tje US we have US Forest Service Rangers, and each State has their own Conservation Officers trained to deal with wildlife issues. In Japan when a wild animal shows up in town they send a bunch of Koban cops to go chase it around like some conveniemce store thief. And if putting it down is required they call in a Hunting Club, and some old geezer whose vision I wouldn't trust to hold a gun.

Shooting every bear you see is NOT wildlife management.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Akita is in the north-west... not north-east

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Got to be a "0" missing there!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Life is cheap for bears, too.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Perhaps using that money to help repopulate their food source in their natural habitats will allow for them to move back and stay there as a long term option?

I doubt that would be possible with 5,000 yen!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In most rural prefectures (therefore most prefectures in Japan), registered hunters get payments for shooting or trapping deer, boar, and monkeys (due to the crop damage they cause), and often the local city or town governments give even more funds.

In total, deer and boar can be worth 15,000 to 20,000 yen for the combined prefecture and municipal payouts, and monkeys get 20,000 to 30,000+.

So 5,000 for a bear is either a typo (missing a zero) or a reflection of how the Akita governor Satake (note the typo in the article calling him the governor of "Akira") is a 50+ year career politician who is so out of touch that does not know the reality of daily costs. In the past week he literally had to apologize to the entirety of all 4 Shikoku prefectures for slandering their food.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20231025_33/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

5000 yen reward…..

if I were a hunter,

I would rather “lead the bear to city hall, have it chase the Akita Governor around a couple blocks, and tell him, 5000 yen? You running for your life from this bear is worth 5000 yen? Better pay at least 5 million, paht nah!”

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

HORROROF HORRORS FOR A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL !

Are YOU reading this Comment ? Governor of Akita?

How did you EVER become governor of beautiful Akita?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Problem

with wildlife in Japan?

Kill it!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Expect more than a few people walking in the woods to be shot, mistaken for bears.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There are many forms of wildlife management. Culling of animals who have a larger population than can be supported by the land is one. It may be distasteful to some, but it is kinder than allowing many animals to starve to death.

In the US, there are hunting limits for nearly all species, provided they aren't on the endangered list. In the mountainous parts of the state, bear season started a few weeks ago. Firearms are the listed, approved, weapon. In my state alone, over 500K people hunt, based on the number of licenses given.

The rangers limit how many of any specific species can be killed by limiting the number of hunting licenses available and where the hunting can occur. For some species, the hunting legal season is very short.

Wildlife management can be complex, so a 5 paragraph article can't cover all the rules around it. Who can hunt, where they can hunt, what they can use, how many animals they can take, and when they can hunt are the minimal requirements. For example, I can hunt squirrels today, but only with a falcon (falconry). Tomorrow, squirrel hunting opens with firearms. I cannot hunt on my land due to local laws, but on certain public land I can, with the state's "small game" license. There is a limit of 12 per day.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

and monkeys get 20,000 to 30,000+.

My town had a monkey problem about 5 years back and paid 5000 yen for hunters who brought a monkey tail to the town office. Imagine a few of them on your desk on a Monday morning.

Enjoyed your post.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Less than 50 bucks to track and hunt an apex predator? Yeah...hard pass. I doubt you could even buy ammo with that stingy amount.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only the ones who enjoy killing animals. I wonder if they follow the "manly" practice of using dogs to tree the animal to be shot like some "hunters" in the US who use this tactic to "hunt" mountain lions.

I can’t see many hunters going out of their way for a $50 reward.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is SO WRONG.

Stay out of their territory. Simple.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How about planting more acorn and fruit bearing trees for the bears?

More food = more bears

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

hunters will be paid 5,000 yen for each bear they bag, with the money meant to offset transportation and ammunition expenses.

The 5,000 yen isn't a bounty, it's there to reflect the additional cost to hobby hunters to shooting an extra bear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

5,000 yen, that ought to cover the bottles of cheap sake drunk in celebration!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That’s a joke. Ever try to track a bear?

You can always expect the resident bear "experts" here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you don't like hunting, nobody is trying to get you to start. For many people, hunting is a family fun outing. In my family, we always ate what we killed, to make a point. Where do you think that beef or chicken or goat came from? It was an animal. You think it is ok to eat, but not kill your own food? Really? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. Killing animals for food is the way of nature. Will you milk a cow/goat/camel to have milk?

My mother owned a farm. We were taught where food comes from there. Both animals and grown from the ground food. It is important for kids to learn that lesson too.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

theFu

If you don't like hunting, nobody is trying to get you to start. For many people, hunting is a family fun outing.

Not here in Japan. "families" do not go hunting.

There are only about 250,000 hunters. The numbers are falling every year.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There are only about 250,000 hunters. The numbers are falling every year.

Yes. ongoing urbanisation is the problem. Also most families are opting to go to a resort instead of hunting. It's a sign of the times you see.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes. ongoing urbanisation is the problem. Also most families are opting to go to a resort instead of hunting. It's a sign of the times you see.

Hunting licenses are issued to individuals, not families, and under strict conditions. It takes 10 years to progress from owning a simple shotgun to a rifle.

The number of hunting license holders in the 1970s exceeded 500,000.

Hunters do not take their families with them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"The population of hunters has been aging in recent years so that nearly 60% of license holders are now over 60 years old."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I find it highly likely that if this results in increased bear hunting (and it likely won't), that we will see old men shooting eachother more than people would have been attacked by bears.

But on the other hand, I wonder if increased hunting will push bears closer to towns as they flee hunters?

I had been thinking that just feeding the bears by leaving appropriate food scattered around for them to find would solve the problem until next year when there will likely be more food, but apparently the scent of people on the food would make bears associate humans with food leading to more problems.

I can't see any short term fix to this problem that's any good.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Don't tell the animal rights groups they'll all be down here protesting with SOB slogans - Save Our Bears...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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