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Akita Prefecture Plans to Withdraw Request for Hunting Association to Refrain from Hunting Bears; Number of Bears Captured This Fiscal Year Exceeds 2,000

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Black bear is seen in April this year in the Shirakami mountain range between Aomori and Akita prefectures.

AKITA — The Akita prefectural government announced plans on Tuesday to withdraw its request to the prefecture-based hunting association to refrain from hunting bears, as bear attacks near residential areas have been on the rise.

The amount of damage caused by bears, such as damage to crops, is more than seven times that of usual years and amounts to about ¥130 million. The combined number of bears captured near residential areas or hunted has exceeded 2,000 as of Tuesday, well beyond the limit of 1,582 set by the prefectural government.

Earlier, the prefectural government had set a limit of 100 bears for this hunting season from Nov. 1 to Feb. 15, but 70 bears were captured in the first 10 days. Afterwards, it had asked the hunting association to refrain from hunting bears from Nov. 14.