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Home / World / In Japan, bears that smell of grapes and chestnuts can cause serious damage

In Japan, bears that smell of grapes and chestnuts can cause serious damage



After the bear market raided its vineyards and chewed thousands of dollars worth of high-quality grapes, farmers were calculating the cost this week. Crops losses are increasing in many areas.

However, for the bear market, this news is even more frustrating. According to data from the Ministry of Environment, more than 9,000 Asian black bears have been arrested and killed since the beginning of 2019, which is the highest record since the beginning of the data in 1950.

Fuminori Tsukidate, a vineyard manager in Aomori Prefecture, said that workers had noticed that people were eating grapes, but at first they were not sure whether they were to blame the bear or the raccoon. Last year, a bear was trapped in a drum trap containing honey, but the raid continued. Therefore, the workers installed surveillance cameras.

Tsukidate stated that he was “surprised”

; to see an intruder (thought to be the offspring of this animal captured last year). He levelled the six-foot fence on his front legs and climbed over.

The bear scrambled about 5,000 bunches of grapes (about 900 pounds), and despite being very careful in doing so, pulled out the grapes and left the stems. He said that despite this, this is only a small part of the total production of about 45 tons.

He said: “The loss is nothing, but what we are worried about is the harm to employees.”

In recent weeks, bears have been spotted on campus and even wandering near a shopping mall in Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan. The other injured four people and once hit a police car and pierced the tire with his paw. Once found, the bear was shot.

On October 1, a 73-year-old farmer died after a bear attack in Niigata Prefecture. On October 7, an 83-year-old woman was attacked by a bear on her way home from picking chestnuts in Akita Prefecture. A week later.

The lack of acorns is forcing bears to descend from their homes on the mountain to find food before hibernating in winter, but this is only half the story.

As the rural population of Japan has decreased, people have evacuated from the hills at the foot of the mountain, which form a buffer zone between the bear’s house and the flat land where people live.

Associate Professor Koike Shinsuke of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology said: “Those farmlands are abandoned and have been planted into forests.” “They in turn become part of the habitat of bears, wild boars and monkeys. Gradually, the habitat of wild animals is spreading throughout Japan. The flat area of ​​the country expands and approaches the flat area behind the densely populated area.”

Koike says bears are naturally timid, but once new sources of food are discovered, they will become bolder. When facing humans, they often panic and may hurt people when trying to escape.

In recent years, in California, grape-flavored bears have also made headlines.

From the United States to Japan, from the Himalayas to India, Asian black bears (closely related to American black bears) live in mountains and forests. They are also called moon bears because of the white markings (roughly crescent-shaped) on their chests. They are usually about five feet tall and weigh a little over 200 pounds, but adult men can double the weight of the scale.

They are listed as “vulnerable” in the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A study by the Ministry of Environment estimated that the black bear population in Japan was between 12,300 and 19,100 in 2011, but it may increase thereafter, at least until the latest wave of killings.

Throughout East Asia, and especially in China, more than 20,000 black bears are kept in small cages, where bile is extracted for use in traditional medicine.

Environmentalists say that a buffer zone needs to be established between the animal’s mountain habitat and human settlements.

“In the past ten years, people’s response has been to capture their appearance in densely populated areas. But this is a temporary solution, like a mole. “Of course we need to eliminate the problem, but we also need Implement policies to create those problem bears without delay. “


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