To avoid encountering bears
Oze is a habitat for Asiatic black bears.
To enable coexistence with them, visitors are asked to observe the guidelines given below.
Bears don’t want to see us either!
Alert them to your presence
Use bells and whistles.
- Normally, bears avoid encountering humans by sensing our presence from a distance and fleeing.
- Try to alert bears to your presence as early as possible.
- Grazing bears may be too absorbed to notice people approaching.
- When there are obviously no bears nearby, such as in open fields or in crowded areas, avoid using bells and radios so as not to bother other visitors.
Exercise caution during dusk and twilight hours.
This is when bears are at their most active.
- Bears are active at dusk and twilight.
- In Oze, bears are often spotted between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In fog, by rivers, at the foot of mountains
Bears may be distracted.
- Bears may be too distracted by the sounds of a river or by other things to notice people approaching
Places where bears might be encountered
Eating shoots on beech trees (early spring)
Eating fruits on beech and Mizunara trees (autumn)
At the foot of mountains:
Eating the fruits of skunk cabbages in mountain-base marshes.
In places where bamboo grows:
Eating bamboo shoots (June to July)
Ozegahara has a river section along which forests grow. Bears have been spotted crossing a nearby boardwalk.
On encountering a bear
(the bear will be surprised, too — don’t panic so as to avoid aggravating the situation.)
Do not panic.
Remain calm above all.
- If the bear is distant, leave the location without rushing.
- If it is close, slowly retreat backward while keeping an eye on the animal.
Do not arouse the bear.
- Avoid speaking loudly.
- Refrain from taking photographs (flashes in particular can arouse bears).
Do not run.
The bear will chase you.
- Bears have a habit of chasing fleeing animals.
- They can run much faster than humans.
Be careful with cubs.
Mother bears will risk their lives to protect cubs.
- If you see cubs, the mother bear will be nearby even if she is not visible.
- The mother bear may attack to protect her cubs.
- Leave the location immediately.
Bears are endangered animals.
Oze is a precious area suitable as a habitat for Asiatic black bears. If incidents occur, bears may be captured and killed as dangerous animals. Be careful not to cause bear-related incidents due to carelessness.
Take care of food and leftovers.
Take home all garbage including lunch leftovers.
It is dangerous to run in the mountains.
Minimize the possibility of bumping into bears. They may preemptively attack if they feel threatened.
Do not approach.
Fresh droppings and footprints are signs that bears are nearby. Leave the location immediately.
Do not bring pets
Their calls and smells can arouse bears.
Observe the following rules:
Do not approach cubs!
They may be cute, but the mother bear will be nearby, creating a dangerous situation.
Do not discard or leave food.
Refraining from feeding wildlife is an obvious rule, but discarding or leaving leftovers of rice, soup, etc. is also tantamount to feeding. After lunch or a rest, check the spot thoroughly and take home any leftovers.
Please report any bear sightings to the Oze Preservation Foundation. This information is valuable to us.