Vending Machine Selling ‘Fresh Bear Meat’ Proves Popular
Bear meat is eaten in many parts of the world
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A vending machine that sells fresh bear meat has proved a surprising hit with customers, according to reports.
Located near a railway station in Akita, a northern prefecture in Japan, the machine has sold the animal meat since November of last year.
Costing ¥2,200 (£13) per 250g, the meat comes from bears killed by a hunting club in nearby mountains. According to local media, the hunters were allowed to kill a certain number of animals during hunting season. The machine is said to sell a range of lean and fatty meat.
As reported by the Guardian, the machine was set up after a local restaurant named Soba Goro “spied an opportunity” to use the meat as a tourist attraction.
The vending machine has attracted a number of customers, many of whom visit after alighting from a nearby railway station. It’s thought that bear consumption is generally high in the area, with people often buying it in cans or instant curry.
Animal rights groups slam the move
The plans have drawn criticism from some in the animal rights community, however.
“This feels like another low blow for wildlife,” Nick Stewart, wildlife campaign director at World Animal Protection, told the Guardian.
“Bears are of great significance to the wider ecosystem in which they live. If we protect them, then their habitat and the animals and plants within it also benefit. This is animal exploitation gone mad.
“Bears are wild animals, not a convenience food. Leave them in the wild to live a wild life.”
Bear meat consumption
While bears aren’t generally animals we associate with meat, their flesh is consumed in many parts of the world, including North America and Europe, as well as Japan.
A spokesperson for Soba Goro told local newspaper Mainichi Shimbun that bear meat “tastes clean, and it doesn’t get tough.”
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