Captured bears should be protected in zoos.” “No hole” that continues to forage without hibernating may increase…Punk Machida | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Captured bears should be protected in zoos.” “No hole” that continues to forage without hibernating may increase…Punk Machida

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If they don’t eat enough in the fall, they can’t hibernate…

The number of bears appearing in human settlements is said to have reached a record high this year. As of September, the number of people who have been affected by bears is said to have reached 109 nationwide. However, it will soon be hibernation season. But hibernation season will soon be upon us, and one would think that the damage caused by bears would be over,

This year, however, there is a possibility of an increase in the number of “denless bears,” or bears that do not hibernate,” said a wildlife researcher, Punk.

says animal researcher Punk Machida.

Normally, bears hibernate in the fall because moving around during the cold winter months is especially draining on their energy, and because there is not enough food to eat, they die from lack of nutrition. According to Punk Machida, they need to gain 1.2 to 1.3 times their early summer weight and store fat to enter hibernation mode.

This year, however, he says, because of the extremely hot summer, there were fewer nuts in the trees, so more bears will not be able to store enough fat to hibernate.

After hibernation, bears lose 30% to 50% of their pre-hibernation weight. If they don’t store that much fat, they will starve to death during hibernation.

To prevent this from happening, they don’t hibernate because they have a higher survival rate if they search for food during the winter months without hibernating. The bears are desperate because they have to continue their foraging behavior.”

In order not to starve to death during hibernation, “It is possible that they do not hibernate because they have a higher survival rate if they search for food during the winter,” said Punk Machida.

Hungry, hole-less bears are dangerous. They may attack people.

In 1915, a hungry bear killed eight people in the Tomamae Sankebetsu Incident.

In winter, the temperature is cooler, so bears need more calories to maintain their body temperature than they do in the spring or summer. The only thing that has that many calories in the mountains in winter is a wayward animal. When it runs low, it will try to replenish its calories by attacking humans and livestock.”

Hunger gets on their nerves, and bears are no different, he says.

They may attack because they are hungry rather than because they want to eat,” he said. In that sense, bears in winter are dangerous.

What should we do?

One effective way is to get a dog. Basically, bears don’t like dogs. It doesn’t matter what breed. Any dog larger than a Shiba Inu is effective (with the exception of bears that have learned to eat dogs).

However, getting a dog now is not very realistic.

A light that goes off when a bear approaches is also effective,” he said. But a bear that comes into town frequently is used to the lights, so they won’t be effective.

The best thing to do is to stay out of the mountains. The best thing to do is to stay out of the mountains.

Even in hibernation, they don’t just sleep. Mother bears also give birth.

Punk Machida says that lack of food does not only increase the number of bears without holes.

Hibernation” conjures up images of bears sleeping through the winter, but they are not sleeping. During hibernation, your metabolism is just slowing down. Your heart rate slows down and you consume fewer calories. Even during hibernation, bears are still awake, and mother bears are still raising their young.

And mother bears give birth during hibernation.

Bears mate in the spring and summer, so they carry fertilized eggs in their bellies, but without implantation. If they are well nourished, they implant before hibernation and give birth during hibernation.

If they are poorly nourished, they cannot even implant. The reproductive rate drops. The next year when there are more bears without holes, there may be fewer cubs.

Punk Machida says he is not in favor of killing bears that have come out to the wild, “Not only bears, but deer and anything else.

I’m against killing bears, not just cubs, but deer and anything else!

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but isn’t it because there are too many bears in the first place that they have become such a common sight in the city?

I have no doubt that the number is increasing,” he says. One possible reason for this is the decrease in the number of hunters. Until the Meiji era (1868-1912), there were Japanese wolves, and they attacked and ate the cubs.

Now that the wolves are gone, hunters have to take the place of the wolves, and those hunters are decreasing. I think it’s man’s fault for having exterminated the wolves.”

While saying that humans must take the place of wolves, Punk Machida disagrees with the idea of killing bears that have come into human habitat.

I am against killing anything, not just bears,” he said. I want zoos to protect them as much as they can. In addition to exhibiting animals to deepen our understanding of them, zoos also have a major role to play in “preserving species” by allowing a variety of animals to reproduce on their own.

Breeding animals can also provide valuable data to save extinct breeds. I believe that there is a lot of data that can be obtained by actively protecting animals in the wild. I want zoos to serve as a bridge for humans and animals to coexist.”

Although the number of cubs may temporarily decrease next year, Punk Machida predicts that they will increase again when nuts become more abundant. The earth does not belong only to humans. Can’t we somehow find a way to coexist?

Punk Machida is an animal expert and writer who handles all kinds of creatures, from insects to reptiles, birds, and wild animals. He has traveled all over the world to explore the ecology of wild animals, and has mastered the techniques and treatment of more than 3,000 species. The more you know, the more fun it is! Punk Machida’s Fun and Painful World of Animal Parenting! The World of Animal Parenting” (Akachan to Mama-sha), “Punk Machida’s 116 True Stories of Animals That Seem Like Lies” (Shiteki Ikkata Bunko), and many other books.

  • Interview and text by Izumi Nakagawa

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