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This article has been translated from our English edition.
A bear crisis is raging in Takikawa, a city on the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido. according to CNNGrizzly bear sightings are at a five-year high, and the bears have attacked residents, killing two people so far in 2020.
Experts believe the increase in attacks is due to a lack of acorns in the bears’ natural habitat, forcing the animals to roam more populous areas in search of food.
“There is less to eat in the mountains and that’s why they go to the villages,” he said The guard Yuko Murotani, President of the Japan Bear and Forest Society.
To keep the bears at bay, the Hokkaido machine company Ohta Seiki has developed the “Monster Wolf”, a furry cyber wolf with fiery red eyes. According to the website JapanKyoThe scarecrow has infrared sensors “which when switched on activate the LED lights in its eyes and the speaker on its head, which can play around 40 different sounds.” The cybernetic wolf is 1.2 meters long and almost one meter high.
Why a lupine scarecrow?
The idea for Monster Wolf was inspired by real wolves roaming this area keeping bears at bay. Tragically, these wolves were threatened with extinction 100 years ago.
In Japan, conservationists warned that if they are not supplied with acorns and the necessary food, there will be more bear attacks. They say bears are not inherently dangerous and can peacefully coexist with humans.
Ps マ 撃 退 に オ オ カ ミ の 形 の#nhk_video pic.twitter.com/c4gMFdFmKs
– NHK @ ュ ー ス (@nhk_news) 19th October 2020
“They are not inherently prone to attacking people, but attacks like the recent one add to the belief that they must be hunted and killed,” Murotani said.
The jury is still unsure of whether or not Monster Wolf is a good temporary fix. It has been used effectively in the past to deter deer and wild boar Vice, but this is a first for bears. After November the bears will hibernate and city dwellers will have to deal with this environmental crisis.