In Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, where bear sightings have been reported one after another, bells and whistles were distributed to elementary and junior high school students to protect children who had started their second semester.

In Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, there were 4 bear sightings in the city from April to August 8, already exceeding the number of bear sightings in one year last year.

For this reason, Chichibu City distributed bear bells and whistles for the first time to all 25,39 children and students of elementary and junior high schools in the city, which began the second semester on the 1th.

At Kuna Elementary School, after the opening ceremony, the homeroom teacher explained how to use bear bells and whistles for each class.

The children immediately attached bells and whistles to their school bags and went to school.

A boy in the sixth grade said, "I saw a bear near my home a few years ago and was scared.

Kazuyoshi Asami, principal of Kuna Elementary School, said, "Until now, we have been paying attention to the new coronavirus and heat stroke, but now we must also be vigilant against bears, and we will watch over the children so that they can have a safe and secure school life."

Even on the way to school for children ...

A teacher at Kuna Elementary School, who handed out bear-repellent bells and whistles, saw a bear in a car on the way to work at around 23:7 a.m. on the 55rd.

The place where I saw it is about 400 meters away from the elementary school, but it is also a route for children to go to school.

According to the teacher, he was driving a car when he came out of a bush and crossed the road.

The teacher said, "The size was one size larger than the Shiba Inu, the body color was black, and the tip of the nose was different from that of a dog. I was surprised and at the same time I was worried about the safety of my child, so I immediately reported it."

Even near residential areas and tourist areas ...

The number of bear sightings in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, has reached 4 from April to August 8.

Another characteristic is that the sighting place is close to a residential area, and the sighting was around Arakawa, a few hundred meters away from Kagemori Station on the Chichibu Railway, around 25 a.m. on the 39th, and there are schools and residential areas nearby.

Forty-five minutes later, it was also spotted upstream from the point of sighting.

It has also been spotted in places visited by many tourists.

In mid-June, it was sighted around Shibazakura Hill in Hitsugiyama Park.

It was also spotted around Chichibu Muse Park late last month and near the "Fountain of Muse" in this Muse Park earlier this month.

Expert: "The important thing is not to let bears out of the forest"

Regarding the successive reports of bear sightings in the Chichibu region and other places, Professor Shinsuke Koike of the Graduate School of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology said, "Now is the time when bears start looking for acorns, which are their staple food, in autumn, so if they cannot be caught in a habitat deep in the mountains, they will move a lot and become more noticeable."

Regarding the factors that can be seen near residential areas, he said, "It is possible that bears' favorite nuts, chestnuts, and crops in the fields also attract bears," and that "bears are smart animals with a good memory, so once they experience such success, they become bolder and can come to the same place again."

So how do you deal with bears?

Professor Koike commented on the countermeasures, "Many bears don't want to get close to humans, so I think holding a bell is effective in encouraging bears with good ears to leave the presence of humans. Isn't it important to cut down the bushes and create an environment that clearly separates the habitat area from people? When you go into the mountains, please pay attention to bear sightings."