With dozens of dangerous encounters between bears and humans, drones are now being used to track animals in Japan. As the newspaper “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” reported from Ishikawa province, the drones used by local citizen groups and the fire department are equipped with thermal imaging cameras. Using infrared rays, bears could be spotted hiding in tall grass in the dark.
As soon as a bear is tracked down in this way, it is said to be chased away with fireworks. The background to this is an increase in incidents with bears in which people are repeatedly injured. There is also a bear alarm in other provinces, such as Niigata.
In Niigata, an elderly woman was recently attacked and fatally injured in the head by a bear while working on her farm. Since April, twelve people in the province have been attacked by black collar bears.
A total of 60 injured after bear attacks
According to experts, one reason the bears are more likely to approach human settlements before they hibernate is that they cannot find enough beechnuts in the mountain forests. In addition, more and more rural areas in Japan are being orphaned due to an aging population and the animals there are therefore increasingly daring.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, 60 people were injured in 56 encounters between bears and humans across Japan between April and August of this year, as the daily newspaper “Yomiuri Shimbun” reported in October.