Is rock 'n' roll capable of keeping people safe from bear attacks? One Japanese area is hoping so and has commissioned a cautionary song to warn locals of the dangers posed by the territory's ursine population.
Japanese Bears vs Rock Music
Bears are widespread in Japan, and they frequently cause panic when they go into cities, where they have attacked and killed locals.
A rise in bear sightings in rural northern Japan has prompted an unusual response: the Iwate prefecture administration has commissioned a rock song that will be sung throughout the region.
"Do you think bear cubs are cute?" says the song. Then, as screaming guitars and thumping drums play in the background, the song words begin.
The song was written and sung by a couple of local sexagenarian rockers, and it includes wise words like "never turn your back and run away" and "trying to play dead doesn't work."
Yuuzen Taguchi, 69, a singer, said such advice came in handy when he came upon a bear near a field. But, he told AFP, "It's terrifying when one simply emerges in front of you."
"You want to flee, but my grandparents taught me years ago that if you ever come across a bear, don't turn around; instead, gently back away.
"When I was a youngster, I was given that rustic wisdom that comes with interacting with bears."
Rising Bear Sightings
In 2020, more than 3,300 bear sightings were reported in Iwate Prefecture, from 700 in 2017.
The song, played in local roadside retail centers until October 31, is intended to teach people how to be safe.
Kaoru Toudou, 61, who composed the song, claimed it started as a blues song. However, Taguchi, who has been in bands for over 50 years, added his screaming vocals to give it an up-tempo rock flavor.
"Bears are supposed to be fearful creatures, so I believe one would flee if it heard the music playing outside," Toudou added.
"That is rock'n'roll's power."
Wild Animals and Music
Although there are many things to do on a wilderness camping trip, most people think of taking Bluetooth speakers to play some music to lighten the atmosphere. What better way to pass the time than by singing along to your favorite songs over a campfire in the evening? However, before you pack your tunes, think about if the music may startle or attract wildlife around your campground.
Wildlife such as bears, wolves, and bobcats are frequently deterred by music. There is no assurance, however, that they will not descend on your campground. In addition, some animals have become accustomed to human activity and noises and will be more likely to visit if you provide them with additional incentives, such as food.
Animals are frequently far more terrified of humans and loud music than we are of them and will only fight back if cornered. However, there are times when the reverse is true; as a result, it is critical to understand what noises, if any, might prevent animals from approaching your campground.
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