Brown Bears Frequently Spotted in Hokkaido; Casualties Hit Record

Society

Sapporo, Sept. 21 (Jiji Press)--Brown bears have been frequently spotted and sometimes appeared in city areas in the northern Japan prefecture of Hokkaido this year, with casualties they caused hitting a record high.

Municipalities are taking measures to help prevent people from being attacked by the animals, which may wander into city areas from late September to October trying to find food before they hibernate.

The number of people who were killed or injured by brown bears in Hokkaido this year so far has come to a record 11, topping the previous annual record of eight in 1964.

More than 1,600 reports of sighting brown bears had been received by the end of August, the highest since 2015, when the current counting method was adopted, according to the Hokkaido prefectural police department.

The Hokkaido prefectural government had been proactively getting rid of brown bears since the 1960s, but abolished the removal program in 1989 because the population drastically decreased.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press