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Bear Attacks Hit Record High, Claiming Six Lives

Between April and November 2023, there were 212 victims of bear attacks, including 6 deaths. Akita Prefecture recorded the highest number of victims at 70.



A bear photographed in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture on October 2022. (Provided by Niigata Prefecture)

In November, 28 bear attacks occurred in 14 prefectures in Japan, involving 30 victims. The data was disclosed by the Japanese environment ministry on December 1. This marks the highest number of incidents in the month of November since 2006, with the number of victims being second only to November 2019.

Including the latest reports filed for October, the total incidents from April to November reached 193 across 19 prefectures. They resulted in 212 victims, including 6 fatalities. Both the victim count and the number of cases are the highest reported since 2006.

Notably, November saw fewer cases compared to September and October, possibly due to bears entering hibernation. However, these figures are preliminary and subject to change.

Employees of Morioka Seiko Instruments learning how to use bear repellent spray on December 6 in Shizukuishi, Iwate Prefecture. (©Kyodo)

In November, Akita, Iwate, and Niigata prefectures reported eight, five, and three victims, respectively. Hokkaido, Toyama, and Nagano prefectures each reported two victims. Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma, Fukui, Yamanashi, Gifu, Shimane, and Okayama prefectures each reported one victim. Fortunately, there were no fatalities in November.

From April to November, there were 70 victims in Akita, 47 in Iwate, 14 in Fukushima, 12 in Nagano, 11 in Aomori, and 10 in Niigata.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun


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