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74-year-old apple grower killed by bear

19 Comments

A 74-year-old man was found dead Thursday morning at his apple orchard in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, after having apparently been attacked by a bear.

Police said Kazuo Harada told his wife Wednesday night he was going out to see if there were any bear tracks near the apple trees, TBS reported. Harada's wife went to bed early and found her husband's body at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Harada's face and throat had injuries and claw marks consistent with a bear attack, police said, adding that bear tracks were found near Harada's body.

Police said there have been numerous bear sightings in the area recently. Authorities said that in autumn, bears aggressively search for food before hibernating for the winter.  

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19 Comments
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Japanese bears seem to be getting more vicious.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Police said Kazuo Harada told his wife Wednesday night he was going out to see if there were any bear tracks near the apple trees, TBS reported.

Night-time and bears, not a good idea. Pity this old gent paid for this mistake with his life though.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He should have been carrying a real fire torch. Bears have fur and it burns.

Poor guy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese bears seem to be getting more vicious.

Wild animals do not become more vicious, they become more desperate and perhaps bold as humans force them into smaller and smaller environments. It is a case of humans getting more forgetful that they share this planet with other species and that they can't control everything. This man should have know better, but now the bear and probably others will pay the price with a bullet in the head. Probably shot by the apple farmer's revengeful buddies who will raise a glass to him over a bear hot-pot. Who's the vicious one?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

i don't disagree with anything you say. If they shoot the bear, maybe time for the Wolverine to take action?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If Mr Harada suspected there might be bears hanging around in his orchard, why on earth would he go out to look for them, alone, at night, in autumn when they're at their hungriest?

Rik314 has it dead right. No more vicious animal on this planet than homo sapiens.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Would a hungry bear just kill and leave?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would a hungry bear just kill and leave?

I imagine it would be more interested in the apples than in the human meat. Startled by the old man, it would have lashed out in what it thought was self-defence, then scarpered.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

poor man, r.i.p

2 ( +2 / -0 )

74yr old apple grower? Why not retire from the business by letting the business go to the younger generation, surely someone out there is willing to step up so that this old timer could have been enjoying the golden yrs watching fall and winter snows, but instead greed and as typical from this generation they don't trust anyone so now the bear got the best of him. Sad...for the bear now he becomes public enemy number one.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I live in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, across from a fair-sized apple orchard. Every year around this time, the bears come down from the hills to snack on the apples. Some years are worse than others; it depends how much of their normal diet has been available throughout the summer and how much they need to make up in fat to properly hibernate. Last year was particularly bad.

One November night four years ago, I heard voices and music coming from the orchard. It was after eleven, but I let it go. When the music and voices continued the next night, however, I could ignore it no longer since I am a light sleeper. Under the light of the full moon, I snuck into the orchard. I found the source of the music and voices soon enough. It was a transistor radio hanging from a tree. The volume had been turned up quite loud, but at least the mystery was solved. I left it on, of course, and turned for home.

Just then, I saw it: Sitting on its haunches, its back up against an apple tree, was a large Asiatic Black Bear, munching I assume happily on an apple. The Canadian in me froze for a moment, then backed up slowly as I was taught to do many years ago. Thankfully, the bear was thoroughly absorbed and didn't see me. When I was a safe distance away, I turned and walked quickly to my front door across the street. It was only after I locked my door did I realize that my heart was pounding.

I didn't phone the police, as so many here in Japan are quick to do.

The next morning, I went across the street to relate my story to the old ladies who tend to the apples. They listened, then chuckled like it was no big thing. They said the bears come almost every night, clawing the bark off trees, pulling down branches, and leaving their droppings everywhere. I asked them why the radio was left on on all night: They said it was to keep the bears away!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I asked them why the radio was left on on all night: They said it was to keep the bears away!

Great story. I guess the radio does not work too well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good Bad Ah_soNOV. 06, 2014 - 09:51PM JST I asked them why the radio was left on on all night: They said it was to keep the bears away!

Great story. I guess the radio does not work too well.

Any of Exile's compilations should do the trick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

lemur.....one of the best comments of the year. Thank you!! Loved reading your story. I'm glad you weren't hurt and the bear got his healthy snack.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Any of Exile's compilations should do the trick.

Either that or anything from Justin Beiber. Kowai!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bears aren't stupid. They will investigate the source of noise(transistor radio in this case), and after determining no threat to them, will just go about their business of feeding. If challenged, however, they will aggressively defend their food source/territory. A human needs a gun to fend off a bear.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I asked them why the radio was left on on all night: They said it was to keep the bears away!

Imagine the great swarms of bears there would've been without the radio.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah_so and quercetum... Thank you; you are too kind.

Just a post-script to the story: I later learned that the Asiatic Black Bear doesn't have particularly good hearing compared to other species of bear, especially when it's chewing, and can thus become startled relatively easily. As a defense mechanism, the bear tends to charge whatever animal that has (suddenly) gotten too close. This is doubly so for a mother with a cub.

I have two school-age children. In the autumn and spring, they do not leave the house without brass bear-bells fastened to their bags or belt-loops. The best defense here is a jangly offense.

Condolences to the family of Harada-san.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Aru hi ... Mori no naka ... Kuma-san ni ..."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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