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Dogs, antennas and honey for Japan's big bear problem

26 Comments
By Simon Sturdee and Harumi Ozawa

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26 Comments
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People walking in areas where bears are need to carry bear spray.

Killing animals is not the answer.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Killing animals IS the “Answer”, but that’s all a matter of opinion.

I’m from Florida, where this is also happening more and more ( no, I’m not a hunter)

I think some entrepreneur should immediately go to work designing some sort of Alert Device that operates on the frequency the collars do, that sets off an alarm when any activity is detected.

In this manner, the general public would immediately be aware of the presence of the animals.

73

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

The number of unneeded highways and roads being built that cut through natural habitats no wonder bears are forced to meet humans.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

https://naturecanada.ca/news/blog/the-bear-necessities-why-our-forests-need-bears/

It's sad reading about people getting attacked by bears, but as someone who lived many years in mountainous regions of US Pacific regions where bears abound. I know humans can learn to live with these magnificent creatures. Still a cull of those bears that are too aggressive might be needed.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

"For a long time, Japanese people co-existed with wild animals... They believed in the presence of gods in every kind of living thing and avoided unnecessary killing," Tanaka said.

It appears that wild boar didn't get the message.

This Japanese "one with nature" sounds sweet and all, but complete nonsense and just romanticizes Hollywood's stereotypes. Whether it is bears, deer, monkeys, wild boar and the list continues - Japan is no different than the rest of the world.

When it comes to crops, profit, convivence, a mountain top retreats, animals lose every time. And lets not get started on the abysmal quality of zoos or the dichotomy in pet owners from dogs on a chain kept outside all year to canine message therapists.

Basically all I am saying is this "They believed in the presence of gods in every kind of living thing and avoided unnecessary killing," is hogwash.

-9 ( +19 / -28 )

The severed head of a fisherman was found by a lake in May. A bear was reportedly spotted with his waders dangling from its mouth.

Wasn't that a scene from Cocaine Bear? If not, it should have.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Sloppy reporting, just mentions climate change and aging society without any details, numbers or proof. Also, I’ve never heard about the severed head and think I might have.,,

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

How about humans stop encroaching in to the bear’s territory.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

I think some entrepreneur should immediately go to work designing some sort of Alert Device that operates on the frequency the collars do, that sets off an alarm when any activity is detected.

It’s impractical to collar and track anything but a small fraction of any animal population, never mind a dangerous one.

It’s an intractable problem for Japan since mountains and people are often yards apart.

A local village nearby with lots of hatake has spent an enormous amount of money ringfencing the entire village, but it ensures that bears, boars and deer find it difficult to get in and eat their crops / citizens.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Reliable data is hard to find but bear numbers also appear to have rocketed

This is my own interest. I hear lots of theories about "lack of food", which invite people to blame development or deforestation. However, such things aren't really happening. Forestry in Japan is mostly dead.

There may be a lack of acorns and beech nuts, due to tree blight. This would make more sense. However, it would not explain "bear numbers also appear to have rocketed". People encountering more bears because there are more bears would make a lot of sense, but not if there are "low numbers of acorns".

The net result is that I suspect the problem may differ between regions and that many factors may be at work, not just one simple "lack of acorns" type simplistic cause.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Bears should be protected and only hunted when they became problematic. No one should eat an animal that eats meat only fish. Animals that eat meat are infested with parasitic worms especially bears. In Australia the crocodile is protected because they are need to keep the structure of the environment in harmony. The same goes for Japan's bears and environment. People will always be a snack pack for the bear and in their environment and caution should always be practiced. Like Bear bangers, tasers, and bear spray should always be carried and know how to apply these defences before entering the bears domain.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

It’s ok to shoot and kill bears. All animals will be extinct as the rule of nature and evolution. It’s not possible to prevent animals extinction. They are intermediary product of the nature that is designed for the strongest to survive. Extinction of animals cannot be prevented.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

I get tired of humans thinking they rule the earth, are the most important thing in this world, and are deserved of it.

Bears doing bear things.

Humans kill them for it.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I wouldn’t mind being a bear. Sleep, eat and make a baby bears. Not a bad life,

The problem with honey and stuff goes back to one of the first paragraphs. In case anyone missed it, it says the bear population tripled in 11 years.

OK, so if you have 100,000 bears X 3 you get 300,000.

If you have 300,000 bears X 3 you get 900,000.

If you have 900,000 bears X 3 you get 2,700,000.

Oh my.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Bears have no natural predators (as do the wild pigs), so it makes sense that there needs to be a way (if the government doesn't take any action) to reduce their numbers by hunting them.

It may sound cruel to some, but the population will continue to grow. Otherwise, you can expect to hear about more fatal instances. Culling of any animal which is becoming a nuisance isn't necessarily a bad thing, and this is also true for less dangerous animals as well such as deer and monkeys. If the numbers are too many, then the correct thing to do is reduce their numbers. Not completely eradicate, but reduce.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

With the help of Karelian bear dogs, Montana bear biologist, Carrie Hunt, has been training grizzlies to stay out of trouble for nearly 30 years. 

Perhaps, the dogs, bear collars, bear spray and tasers can serve as an alternative to culling all but the most aggressive and problematic bears.

Carrie Hunt seems to be following in the footsteps of animal activists, Temple Grandin and Jane Goodall.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Click your heels together all you want, the problem will not change unless their numbers are reduced.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Humans don’t own planet Earth, just we destroy it.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Look at the size of the paws on that bear they have tranquilized. And it's not such a big bear, as bears go. Yikes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

stormcrowToday 12:10 pm JST

Bears have no natural predators (as do the wild pigs), so it makes sense that there needs to be a way (if the government doesn't take any action) to reduce their numbers by hunting them.

It may sound cruel to some, but the population will continue to grow. Otherwise, you can expect to hear about more fatal instances. Culling of any animal which is becoming a nuisance isn't necessarily a bad thing, and this is also true for less dangerous animals as well such as deer and monkeys. If the numbers are too many, then the correct thing to do is reduce their numbers. Not completely eradicate, but reduce.

Umm, human beings have no natural predators: We're our own worst enemy, and everything you've written applies to us far more than it does to bears.

I don't think bears are the root of the problem here- They're the scapegoat.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

 A bear was reportedly spotted with his waders dangling from its mouth.

Bear 1 Human 0. The next rubber, humans will be out to even the score.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Bear 1 Human 0. The next rubber, humans will be out to even the score.

@oyatoi

The score in deaths is actually Humans 212, Bears 6,287. Humans are up 30x.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When it comes to bears vs humans, whoever wins, the bear loses.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Very nice project..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In my 30+ yrs here this is the 2nd or 3rd time a drop in acorn production has had bears look elsewhere, ie hang out closer to humans looking for food to fatten up for hibernation, the LACK of ACORNS IS a thing for bears here, if supply is lacking it WILL affect them very negatively.

And if prior to this drop in acorn production populations have been increasing(likely due to LARGE amounts of acorns) then this year seems to be a culmination of increased bear population and now a sudden decrease of acorns, hence the bear encounters.

Seeing pictures of bears out & about that by now should be hibernating means likely many once they eventually sleep will simply not wake up as their body stores wont get them through the winter.

In the spring those that do make it through we will likely again see more encounters with humans as many will be VERY hungry. So people in bear country will need to be more aware.

No easy answers for all this, hunting is fine in my opinion, moving problems animals away from humans is good, if they keep returning then they will need to be put down. These issues are not new, just need to have plans in place.

This year & next will have more problems but will likely settle down after that, this happens in cycles will lots of animals not just bears.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In 2006, with six people killed by bears, including one elderly woman in her garden in October.

The severed head of a fisherman was found by a lake in May. A bear was reportedly spotted with his waders dangling from its mouth.

One bear attacked six people in a single day in October, including an 83-year-old woman and a schoolgirl waiting for a bus in the northern town of Kitaakita.

tooheysnew Dec. 24 08:14 am JST

How about humans stop encroaching in to the bear’s territory.

sunfunbun Dec. 24 10:54 am JST

I get tired of humans thinking they rule the earth, are the most important thing in this world, and are deserved of it.

Could you explain how an elderly woman quietly working in her garden,

a man quietly fishing by a lake ( possibly thinking of tasty fish for his grandchildren) ,

an 83 year old woman and a schoolgirl waiting for a bus.....

are considered "encroaching in to the bear’s territory" and how these people are "thinking that they rule the earth"?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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