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Niigata Prefecture heightens bear alert after woman dies from attack

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Eek. I know Sekikawa reasonably well. Beautiful district, but I'll be careful on future hiking and cycling trips. Typically you just see monkeys, but it's easy to forget that a bear could be lurking around the corner.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Quote: "We will continue to issue strong warnings against bears so as to prevent injuries," said Makoto Kambe, who heads the prefecture's center to address damage caused by wildlife.

Not quite sure what that means, but it must be something positive, I guess.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Not quite sure what that means, but it must be something positive, I guess.

Bear warning signs are a helpful reminder that the country lane may not be as safe as it looks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm wary of camping in a tent these days. Climate change is disrupting the bears' eating habits and making them more hunger and thus aggressive than in the past.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

We always have a bell on our backpacks when we go hiking. The bears are supposed to hear it from a distance and avoid it - minimizing the sudden encounters that usually go bad for the human.

Is it possible to procure bear spray (a repellant) in Japan as well? I never knew there was such a thing until I was reading about the rioters in Portland using it on police. It's supposedly more stronger than pepper spray.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Sal Affist,

I’ve heard bears have learned that a bell means food in the backpack. Sort of like a dinner bell? be careful.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Make hard noise preventively. If attacked, just leave your food and pretend to lie dead. Done.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

The story has a contradiction in that talks of depopulation but also of more people picking mushrooms and hiking. Typical satoyama behaviour like mushroom/sansai collection will definitely have decreased with depopulation. It's rural locals who know what's edible, when it's in season at each particular location, and where exactly it is in the woods. Those people will have grown up eating those foods and will have a far greater connection to them than anyone from outside the area. From observation, I can tell you that Nagano at least is full of abandoned hiking paths and struggling mountain huts that are more likely to close than to be rebuilt or extended, such has been the fall in hikers compared to the peak forty-fifty years ago. Any perceived increase in hiking will be at super-high profile places only, like Mt. Fuji and hyakumeizan.

What is more likely is habitat loss is driving bears into areas they would previously avoided, like satoyama woods and actual towns and villages. There will also be fewer locals shooting them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I was dragged by my feet by a grizzly while camping at Yellowstone Park, as a teenager. Managed to escape, but that is something one never forgets.

A man was killed by a mountain lion about a mile away from where our daughter used to live, in California.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

One could ask who is the interloper in these areas (Niigata, Yellowstone, California)...humans or the animals who have lived there for millennia?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Humans are animal. Kneel in front of a bear.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Make hard noise preventively. If attacked, just leave your food and pretend to lie dead. Done.

Absolutely do NOT play dead with black bears. Make noise as you walk so the bears know you are there. The bell is so that you don't startle them. But any noise will warn them of your approach. Black bears particularly dislike the sound of metal. So clanging pots and pans works well, or banging your hiking poles on rocks.

If you do meet a bear walk away slowly. If possible try to keep facing them. They are curious and will want to check your bag for food. But they will only attack if you run. Stand tall and make yourself look as big as possible. They are likely to be as frightened as you and will attack when startled. If they start to come at you aggressively raise your arms and shout loudly and aggressively back. Never run or play dead.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I see "caution" or "chuui" written in kanji . . . the in bold "leave" . . . the kanji on either side of "leave" or "de" seem ambivalent . . . "attitude" or "waza"? , , , "mata" or "weapon"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One combined effect of depopulation and aging is that more and more rice fields are being left dry and unattended and will grow dense with wild plants and young trees in a very short time, giving the bears more cover to hide closer to housings, thus more encounters with persons tending the fields.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bears that had strayed from its natural habitat and attacked humans, should be hunted and culled ASAP. Once these beasts had tasted human flesh there's the danger of them hunting for more human prey.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

mountaingrill: " If they start to come at you aggressively raise your arms and shout loudly and aggressively back" Even though we don't get bears in the suburbs of Columbus OH (maybe the occasional coyote), I found that the above solution does indeed work with the occasional Rottweilers a few of our idiot neighbors let run in the past

3 ( +3 / -0 )

> Quote: "We will continue to issue strong warnings against bears so as to prevent injuries," said Makoto Kambe, who heads the prefecture's center to address damage caused by wildlife.

This means they’ve been issuing written warnings to bears about minding their own business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was dragged by my feet by a grizzly while camping at Yellowstone Park, as a teenager. Managed to escape, but that is something one never forgets.

You are extremely lucky, as if you didn’t already know that, given grizzlies typically maul their targets before dragging the corpse away.

As for the advice to play dead in a bear attack, it all depends on the type of bear attacking you.

*Like most people who enjoy the outdoors, I came into this with some basic knowledge of the grizzly. I knew that their attacks aren’t typically motivated by predation, *so unlike a black bear or mountain lion, you’re supposed to play dead if one attacks you.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2390732/how-survive-grizzly-bear-attack#close

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never knew there was such a thing until I was reading about the rioters in Portland using it on police. 

This is incorrect. The rioters have used bear spray against each other, but not against the police.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bear spray is available at Montbell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they start to come at you aggressively raise your arms and shout loudly and aggressively back. Never run

Easier said than done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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