The incident in Sapporo on Friday has been getting a lot of media attention, even across the world.I want to briefly translate the explanation for the bear’s behaviour given by brown bear experts in Hokkaido.
Firstly, this is a surprise even to bear experts–How did this bear get here…???
It was a relatively young bear and far from home. Probably it gradually moved further from the forest till it was so deep in suburbia it lost its way and ended up in a central city area.
Being surrounded by a lot of unfamiliar noise, human objects/buildings and unable to find its way home, the bear was in panic mode and hence pushed anyone or anything in its way out of the way. It was also pointed out that some media decided to follow and chase the bear, making dramatic announcements about its movements as they did so…this only panicked the bear more.
This situation is very unusual, not something anyone would expect, so is difficult to counter. The only thing to do is get everyone to stay inside their homes until the bear is captured.
Unfortunately, this bear was killed rather than released because of many unknown risks; there is a high chance it might come back to the city again, or had already gotten used to human areas and hence posed a risk to human life. Of course, we don’t know this for sure as the bear was not given a chance to be released. However this is the decision that was made this time.
Below is the full news item in Japanese.