Nagano Prefecture creates movie to show right ways to stay safe from bears

NAGANO, Dec. 4 – Imagine. If you encounter a wild bear, what will you do? Nagano Prefecture made a short movie to show you what you should do to avoid the risk of bear attacks. It aims to reduce the risk of bear damage to humans by instructing the right ways to handle an unexpected encounter with a wild bear, as the numbers of bear sightings and personal injuries are on the rise in Japan. “It’s a unique initiative in Japan,” said an official from the prefecture department in charge of bird and wild animal damage control and gibier use promotion.

In Nagano Prefecture, between April and October this year, wild bears were spotted 1,327 times while ten personnel injuries were reported. These figures are the highest for the seven-month period since the fiscal year 2015.

An NPO specialized in bear habitat studies, Shinshu Asian Black Bear Study Group, supervised the movie, which visually shows what you should do when you encounter a bear while walking in the mountains. It stresses that you should stop, stay calm, and step back slowly, never showing your back to the bear.

It also explains some don’ts, such as screaming, throwing something at the bear, running away while showing one’s back, and approaching the bear to take pictures.

The video is available on the official channel called “2020 Nagano Hunter Course (2020長野県ハンター講座)” of the Nagano Prefecture Hunter Training School (長野県ハンター育成学校) on a video-sharing website YouTube.

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