A brown bear has been repeatedly sighted in two residential areas of Sapporo City’s Minami Ward during the past 10 days. While no attacks have been reported, the bear sightings in Minami Ward’s Fujino and Masumai districts have prompted authorities to authorize members of a local hunting association and police to find and kill the bear.
Most of the bear sightings have occurred at night. However, a few eyewitness accounts in the early hours of Monday morning prompted the kill order. Police said the extreme measure will be carried out only in daylight hours and not at night when it would be difficult to ensure the safety of residents.
Police believe it is the same bear that has been spotted since Aug 1. The only damages reported have been from eight households reporting that vegetables were taken from their gardens.
While multiple sightings were reported in different locations from Sunday night to Monday morning, the bear was seen near a gasoline stand at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. It then went into a cornfield. It was last seen Tuesday morning in the car park of a high school.
An official from Hokkaido City’s Environmental Policy Division stated, “We believe that the bear’s actions could escalate and create a dangerous situation for residents in the area.”© Japan Today