Ropeway Carries Fishy Treat For Hokkaido Bears

Ropeway carries fishy treat for Hokkaido bears

A ropeway system in northern Japan was carrying more than the usual tourists on Saturday. A special gondola was packed with salmon for the furry residents of a mountainside bear park.

The ropeway in Noboribetsu City in the prefecture of Hokkaido transported 20 fish as part of a novel event that started 9 years ago to entertain visitors.

Despite high prices due to poor catches this year, 200 salmon were secured for the event.

The salmon will be fed to the bears after being dried and turned into a regional treat known as 'saketoba'.

A woman visiting from Nagoya says she envies the bears as the salmon look good.

Yoshida Hirokatsu from the Noboribetsu BearPark says he wants people to enjoy an event that is unique to Hokkaido. He says the salmon are an early New Year gift for the bears.

It takes about a week to turn the salmon into saketoba that can be fed to bears.

The gondola system is set to operate until late next March.