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Hunters, police search for bear spotted multiple times in Sapporo

22 Comments

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.”

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22 Comments
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This was on the news last night, and what rather surprised me, even though this article is stating that the "police" are looking for this bear , they had a shot of the bear, walking directly in front of a damn police car, and it turned it's back to the car/cops, and climbed up a roughly 1 meter high concrete wall and scrambled off into the bush.

This coming AFTER repeated sightings all over the place. The cops could have easily darted/sedated the bear, which looked rather scrawny really, and stopped all this nonsense, IF they had been prepared!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Well, summer in the northern hemisphere means animals that are hibernating are at their most active since they need to pack on pounds by Fall.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

With the police standing by, a gaggle of orange-clad 'hunters' were all waiting excitedly for the signal to shoot the hungry creature...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why shoot to kill? We should never forget, they were here before we were. Sedate and take it to its natural habitat. (Way off in the mountains where there are no residents)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

How do they know it's the same bear?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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.

Not Good !! Not good at all !! Just trap/ sedate it and move it further away where it won't be a nuisance or threat to people. Hokkaido is rich in flora and fauna. Having lived there for a long time, I could suggest a dozen places you can take the Bear to. Just don't kill it because you can.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Lack of their normal foods forcing them to come down from the mountain areas.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad. Although maybe when humans wander into bear territory the bears also have a meeting and decide that the bears should find and kill the human.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why kill the bear?

Humans...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Expat:

“How do they know it's the same bear?”

Unusually, it is spotted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan needs get with the 21st century as far as wildlife management goes. Doesn't the country have the equivalent of a Forestry Service or Fish & Game Dept? Or at least a department within prefectural police departments to deal specifically with wildlife problems? No need to shoot a bear that comes into town, they can be sedated and transported far away. Letting sports hunters loose with firearms in a town is far far more dangerous than a loose bear,

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Why would they want to kill the bear???!!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Off please, just don't kill the animal - this same animal has had the chance of doing harm 2-3 times, but it went away only searching for veggies... Don't you understand? It is just hungry, not trying to harm human...if it wanted it could have until now... So why kill?

But Japanese thinking - out of the normal, so to be center of attention. Hate living in a place without flexibility... Yeah, I can go out of here anytime, but still...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's hunger caused by man's interference in their natural environment (forestry) and, to some extent, the decline in management and sustenance of the satoyama areas that used to act as a natural barrier between the two communities.

I get the feeling that the old guys with guns enjoy being allowed to kill something big for a change. It gives them a chance to dress up in all their gear.

The hunts are always hugely over subscribed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yeah amateur hunters (in Japan invariably 60+ year old men) shooting a wild animal on the move in residential neighborhoods is really smart. In literally any other developed nation, the city would call on zoo or wildlife/game officials to sedate and relocate the bear, with lethal means only as a last resort.

But this is Japan :(

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors as to why they would choose to kill the bear instead of relocating it.

http://www.bearsmart.com/managing-bears/relocation/

There's good odds it will just come back, no matter how far it is relocated. In a perfect world, I'd rather see the bear living happily in the mountains, but I'd also rather have a dead bear than a dead high school student.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The cops could have easily darted/sedated the bear, which looked rather scrawny really, and stopped all this nonsense, IF they had been prepared!

It takes a pretty powerful weapon (high caliber hunting rifle at least) to take down a bear cleanly. Japanese cops are armed with .38 revolvers.

Doesn't the country have the equivalent of a Forestry Service or Fish & Game Dept? Or at least a department within prefectural police departments to deal specifically with wildlife problems? 

The prefectural Environmental Agency deals with wildlife issues, however they have no permanent “field” personnel. When culling or animal control is necessary, they usually request the local hunters union.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At this point in the summer, bears should be large, nearly huge, for their breed, from all the eating. Look for a good belly on a healthy bear in mid-August. A skinny bear won't survive winter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is sad that they wish to kill the problem rather than remove it. We have extremely venomous snakes here in Australia which can often get into people's properties and houses. The policy is to call a snake catcher who finds, captures and returns the snake to the wild.

It is possible that the snake could return, find another property or even bite a person wandering around, but they are not destroyed here and there are no shortage of snakes in Australia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is possible that the snake could return, find another property or even bite a person wandering around,

Show me a 1300 pound snake and we can talk. Removing a snake and removing a bear are completely different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Ex tanker.

One is small and lethal the other is big and can be lethal.

But if we must compare sizes, then how about removing crocodiles, that would be an awkward task though somewhat different to a bear.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unpopular opinion but ex tanker is correct. This bear was a risk. You cant just relocate bears they just become a problem somewhere else, not matter how remote you relocate them. This bear has learned that humans and towns are a gold mine of easy food and will always be a problem. Some said it hadn't attacked anyone, leave it alone. It hadn't attacked anyone yet, key word yet.

The anthropomorphization of dangerous wildlife has warped some peoples realities. This threat had to be dealt with.

This an ussuri brown bear, its a Japanese grizzly, they can grow to be huge.

They are listed as least concern by conservation, if it were endangered, yes, then by all means save it, relocate it to a zoo or sanctuary.

I hope the bears carcass wasn't just wasted. The Ainu revere bears in their culture

In Hokkaido, during the first 57 years of the 20th century, 141 people died from bear attacks, and another 300 were injured.

From 1962 to 2008 there were 86 attacks and 33 deaths from bears in Hokkaido.

If you live Hokkaido, the threat is real. You simply can not have brown bears strolling into town.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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