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WorldBear allegedly kills 58-year old man in Japan

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Bear allegedly kills 58-year old man in Japan

A 58-year-old man, Yasuhiro Kobayashi, has been killed in a suspected bear attack in Japan.

Kobayashi, a construction worker, was found in a forest in Nagano Prefecture on Friday afternoon with severe wounds on his head and back, according to a spokesperson from Nagano Central Police Station.

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This incident is part of a rising number of bear attacks, as the animals increasingly encroach into populated areas.

Kobayashi was discovered by a colleague who went searching for him after he failed to return to work from a construction site, reported Japanese broadcaster NHK.

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The newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported that four people were injured in bear attacks in Nagano this month alone. Authorities in the prefecture have issued stern warnings to residents, advising them to avoid venturing into the mountains at dawn or dusk, when bears are most active.

Residents are also encouraged to travel in groups and carry noise-making items like bells.

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Bear sightings and incidents typically peak in April, when bears emerge from hibernation in search of food, and again in September and October as they prepare for winter.

However, reduced acorn yields, a primary food source for bears, have made their movements more unpredictable.

In December, Japan’s environment ministry reported that six people were killed and 212 injured in bear attacks between April and November of the previous year, surpassing the previous record of 158 injuries in the 12 months from April 2020.

In response, a panel appointed by the environment ministry suggested revising hunting laws to permit the use of guns, including tranquilizer guns, against bears entering residential areas.

Currently, firearms can only be used on a bear in a residential property if ordered by police.

Additionally, some municipalities are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manage the problem. AI-linked cameras can detect bears approaching city centers and notify officials accordingly.

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