In Sapporo, Japan, brown bears are showing a concerning change in behavior, becoming bolder in their approach to urban areas. Previously, they were more cautious around human settlements. Recent incidents, like a mother bear and her cubs approaching a residence, highlight this shift. Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in bear sightings across different districts in Sapporo. This increased boldness is linked to a decline in farmers and hunters due to a shrinking population and an aging society. This change is leading bears to expand their territory closer to residential areas, posing a significant challenge for the city and raising safety concerns for both humans and bears.

Up until the end of July 2023, there have been 113 bear sightings in the city, the highest in a decade for such a short period. This spike in sightings emphasizes the need for greater awareness and potential measures to manage the coexistence of humans and bears. It highlights the importance of understanding and adapting to the changing behavior of wildlife in urban environments. In this evolving situation, achieving a balance between human and bear safety calls for careful planning and intervention to ensure peaceful cohabitation in the increasingly shared spaces of Sapporo.