In response to the escalating bear attacks in Tokyo, the Ministry of Environment has enlisted bounty hunters. These hunters, upon successfully eliminating bears, will receive a reward of 5000 yen ($33). Bear attacks have seen a significant increase in Japan this year, with the death toll reaching 167 so far, surpassing last year’s count of 158. Recently, a 79-year-old resident tragically lost her life outside her home in Toyama, Japan, as she became one of three individuals to fall victim to a savage bear attack.
The Nagaoka University of Technology, which specializes in wildlife management, had already foreseen this situation. Their researchers predicted that bears would enter hibernation by November and December, with the potential to return by January 2023, driven by the need to forage for food before the long winter.
The prefectures of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Akita, and Iwate are on high alert. The reasons for the attack are attributed to deforestation and scarcity of food. The low yield of beech nuts, the staple food for bears, is one of the major reasons. Every year officials survey the beech trees, and this year the harvest was low. Due to this, the bears move towards human settlements in search of food and the people fall prey to them.
Numerous cases have been reported in Iwate and Akita daily, hence the Ministry of Environment has placed a bounty on their heads. The Ministry has advised people to undertake preventive measures such as proper disposal of waste, proper handling of fruits, and avoiding interaction with bears.