Sixty and scary: Ageing rockers hit the mic to keep people safe from wildlife

Cute and cuddly or strong and scary? Source: The Guardian

Two sexagenarian rockers in Japan have been deployed to lend their voices to a campaign that aims to keep residents safe from bear attacks, according to a report in The Guardian.

Songwriter Kaoru Toudou, 61, and singer Yuuzen Taguchi, 69, have been commissioned by the Iwate prefecture government to deliver a rock song to warn residents in the region about the danger of bears, following an increase in sightings in the country’s rural north. While it’s long been a drawcard for visitors, Japan’s wildlife should be approached with similar caution to that in Australia.

To the background of screeching guitars and booming drums, the song lyrics explode with, “So you think bears are cute? Discard that naive way of thinking! Nearby that cub is a parent bear and it’ll suddenly attack you! Roar, roar, roar, roar, roar, roar – it’ll suddenly attack you!”

Toudo, who originally penned the song as a blues number, includes sage advice, such as “never turn your back and run away” and “trying to play dead doesn’t work.”

Taguchi, who has literally used the advice when confronted in a field by a bear previously, transformed the tune into an up-tempo rock number when he added his voice, which has been heard in the music industry for the past 50 years.

“It’s very frightening when one just appears before you. You want to run away, but my grandparents told me years ago that if you ever encounter a bear, don’t turn around and just back away slowly,” Taguchi reportedly told Japan’s leading global news agency AFP.

Toudo said it was all about the power of rock and roll. “It’s said that bears are timid creatures, so I think if one heard the song playing outside it would run away,” he said.

According to the Bangkok Post, bear sightings in the Iwate prefecture have increased from 700 in 2017 to more than 3300 last year.

Japanese authorities are hoping the song (which will play at local roadside shopping centres until October 31) will increase safety among its residents.

Yes, there may be a bear in there, but there’s a couple of smashing 60-year-olds as well!

For those looking for wildlife encounters in Japan, check out these amazing options.

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