Hokkaido Isle Jolted by 1st Appearance of Brown Bear in 106 Years


Sapporo, July 14 (Jiji Press)--On Rishiri Island in the northern Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, people are on alert after a brown bear has recently been spotted for the first time in 106 years, ahead of the summer tourism season.

Footprints, droppings and other traces of a brown bear have been discovered on the island since May 30. Footage from a fixed camera recently set up by the Forestry Agency and others showed a brown bear several times between June 15 and July 6.

While some 10,000 brown bears are believed to live across Hokkaido, records have shown that only one brown bear had ever been seen on Rishiri Island, about 20 kilometers from the city of Wakkanai at the northern tip of the main island of Hokkaido.

In 1912, a brown bear swam to the shore of Rishiri Island and was later hunted there.

The recently spotted bear is also believed to have reached the island by swimming across the sea.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press