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Bear attacks on humans on the rise in Japan

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Due to the increasing number of wildlife attacks on people, the Government of Japan has gathered for an emergency meeting.

In Japan, 63 people have been injured since the beginning of September, two of them have died. This was reported by NHK on Monday, October 26, citing the Japanese Ministry of Environment.

“This issue is attracting increased public attention and we need to work more closely to prevent harm,” said Fumiko Nakao, head of the Wildlife Division, at the meeting attended by representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Police Agency.

According to the president of the Japanese Society for the Protection of Bears and Forests, Yuko Murotani, bears began to descend more frequently in populated areas due to lack of food and a decrease in the population rural areas.

“This has blurred the boundaries between forests and villages,” Murotani said. 

Environmentalists have warned that if the bears are not provided with food, clashes with people will continue.

“A possible solution to the problem would be to create safe feeding areas,” they suggested. 

Japan is home to two species of bears: the Ussuri subspecies of brown bear, which is more common on the northern island of Hokkaido, and the relatively small Himalayan bear, weight which rarely exceeds 200 kg. The total population of this predator in Japan is estimated at 15-20 thousand individuals.

Up to a thousand bears are killed each year in the country as a protection measure. One of the local nationalities – the Ainu – is allowed to sacrifice bears.

Since April 2020, the authorities have recorded 13.6 thousand cases of bears in populated areas, the maximum for five years, according to the newspaper.

Earlier in one of the zoos in Shanghai a group of bears gnawed their caretaker right in front of shocked tourists.

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