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Gunma safari park worker killed in bear attack

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© 2016 AFP

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I wonder if she was feeding him through the window (cuz he was so cute). How did she not see this situation developing?

-26 ( +2 / -28 )

I wonder if she was feeding him through the window (cuz he was so cute) and he climbed in for the main course. How did she not see this situation developing?

According to the news reports she was a 25 year veteran of the park and was a park "ranger". Odds are she knew what she was doing and to infer "cuteness" is just wrong.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

A safari park employee in Gunma Prefecture died Tuesday after being attacked by a bear which had somehow climbed into her car

WTF?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In 2012, an unknown number of bears escaped from snow-covered Hachimantai bear park in northern Akita Prefecture, which had kept 38 animals 38 minus however were remaining the following day...?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is not so surprising. Anyone who has been to a safari-type park in Japan can see that the "rangers" are not as highly trained as those back home. They usually just have an interest in animals, and are paid close to minimum wage; not like they have a background in animal conservation or biology.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

As a staffer at safar park, I think its fair to this worker was knew bears are not cute, cuddly play things.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I thought I heard the bar on the window came loose. Thus the bear was able to enter.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should be simple to figure out what happened, if one of the windows was smashed or damaged it came in that way, if not, a door was open or opened

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Should be simple to figure out what happened, if one of the windows was smashed or damaged it came in that way, if not, a door was open or opened

The protective bar on the drivers side window broke. The glass was not broken, so they are assuming that the window was open at the time:

軽乗用車には運転席側と助手席側にステンレスパイプが1本ずつ取り付けられていたが、運転席側のパイプが折られ、熊が車内に侵入している状態だった。窓ガラスは割れておらず、窓ガラスを開けていた可能性がある。

Rough translation:

"The car had a stainless steel pipe affixed to the driver's side and the passenger side, however the driver's side pipe was broken allowing the bear to enter into the car. The glass was not broken, so the possibility exists that the window was open"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wild animals wouldn't just jump into a car. The fact that he did suggests that he was used to humans, like the ones you see in Yellowstone National Park. Thus my comment about feeding. I don't know why she didn't just drive off before he climbed in?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

lack of training, or poor build quality of the car?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

lack of training, or poor build quality of the car?

Or maybe even freak accident.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@sensei258 I wonder if she was feeding him through the window (cuz he was so cute). How did she not see this situation developing?

awww such a cute comment. no.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Please don't rush to judgment on the causes of this terrible incident, people - we barely have all the facts yet.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bears can easily break into cars normally, so I am not surprised. Poor girl.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wild animals wouldn't just jump into a car. The fact that he did suggests that he was used to humans, like the ones you see in Yellowstone National Park. Thus my comment about feeding. I don't know why she didn't just drive off before he climbed in?

I've seen at least 2 stories (one in the US, and one in Canada) in the past 6 months where wild bears entered cars looking for food.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've been to this park, it's seriously dangerous, you drive your car 1-2 meters from bears and lions. There is nothing stopping any of these animals breaking windows of cars... Feel sorry for the staff member but without stopping the animals walking upto cars this was bound to happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Horrible way to die, must have been a carnage in the car. I would have thought park rangers/ employees carry some kind of bear spray at all times for self protection (or anything that can be of help)?

I wouldn't drive in a small car without any protection knowing a 150-200kgs bear could smash the car and kill me should he feel like it. Breakdowns happen too. Poor lady.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Was it a bear from the park or a wild bear? These kinds of articles always leave too much for assumption.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Fair enough stranger. Wasn't a rhetorical question actually but i accept it did feel like one. Am not familiar with safari parks so was genuinely wondering. No worries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why do people feel the need to ponder and speculate? The bear does what bears do. The worker might have been very knowledgeable and experienced, but she does not hunt her food to live. We humans are apex predators, but we sure do not act like it. The posts here are perfect evidence of that. We wonder "why? how?" such a thing could have happened. Are you kidding?

No. We humans tend toward lazy routine. We walk around like plump marshmallows without knives, spears, or weapons of any kind, which makes us all sitting ducks for REAL apex predators that have jaws, claws and teeth and know how to use them. That is why it is called WILDLIFE and not TAMELIFE.

Please let's not be surprised that this happened. Be surprised that it does not happen more often. And if you want to prevent attacks at wildlife parks, get rid of wildlife parks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What was the fate of the bear? Any follow up information on this grizzly story?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If a 150kg bear got into my car, believe my i would be getting out quicker than he got in. poor woman she must have been terrified. I hope they review there safety policy now and make amendments weather its more training or stronger shields on cars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suzanne Starr at Aug. 17, 2016 - 11:49AM JST "....Poor girl."

Aged 46, but perhaps from your vantage point still a girl?

As Ms Saito was a 25-year veteran employee at this safari park, I was thinking she surely was experienced enough but then today I heard she only started working in that zone 1 1/2 year ago. Don't what duties she performed before. As for why the window was open, they said normally it would be if she needed to caution park visitors about their behavior or for entertainment purposes in which feed for the animals would be flung from the car. In either case though the bar (bars?) was supposed to be enough protection. But apparently the bear was able to break it so it was inadequate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I wonder if she was feeding him through the window..."

The park worker was in fact feeding the bears by throwing food from the car, as is standard practice at Gunma Safari Park. The bear, a 5-year old male weighing 160 kilograms, may have smelled the food inside the car (TV news segment showed a partially-eaten cucumber on the front seat). The victim Saito reportedly had recently transferred from another animal area and was possibly unfamiliar with the Asian black bears...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Brian Wheway: You can't get out of your car, there are lions, and bears and animals walking everywhere around your car... if she got out in the bear section should would have been attacked by 10 other bears.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Genuine question: how does one not notice a 160 kilo bear rampaging in one's car?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bears are smart animals... they observe and learn... probably opened the door and attacked her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think Disillusioned’s comment was telling, if I’m not misinterpreting it. Wild bear, or park bear? - as if park bears are domesticated. Even many humans are vicious wild animals, for heaven’s sake, after having been “domesticated” in society for years. I think many people, especially liberals, out of some kind of innate fear of the natural wild, want to believe that animals and humans alike are born nice, if only they are treated with proper kindness. Wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Genuine question - what makes you think someone would not notice a bear that was in the midst of killing them?

If she was in the car already, she'd have most likely noticed a bear trying to get in, and if the bear entered the car while she was outside, it's likely to be pretty conspicuous once she got close to the car. For Heaven's sake it's a bear three times the size of the average Japanese woman.

The story doesn't stack up - at least as it is presented on JT.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If she was in the car already, she'd have most likely noticed a bear trying to get in

And how do you suppose she would have stopped it?

The story adds up fine. It short on details, but the incident only just happened, and it's not an in depth exposé, it's a report of details that have been released so far.

Not everything in the world is a big conspiracy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Carnival rides malfunction and decapitate passengers. A car spins out of control at at race and flattens spectators. Someone goes to a huge sports event and gets pushed, groped or has their pocket picked. A man with a four year old son jumps out of an airplane without a parachute, falling into a net the size of a living room. A woman gets out of her car at a wildlife park and gets mauled and chewed by a bear.

Does anyone see a pattern here? Put aside all of the "precautions" that we puny humans set up for ourselves to feel safe and what you have is people putting themselves in harm's way in the name of entertainment for others or for themselves. I am not surprised in the least that it happened. I am simply surprised that people spend so much effort to avoid the real question: why have these contrived shelters for dangerous animals in the first place? They are simply titillation vendors. Rickety rollercoasters, bungie jumping, bumper cars, and paragliding. Thrills for tourists.

The problem is that humans have become inured to the real meaning of danger stimuli. They have forgotten that a 150 kg bear with claws means DEATH, not a paycheck. Adrenaline rushes are peddled to punters. This woman died because some housewife and her kids wanted something fun to do on a Saturday. That is the tragedy. She is grist for the adrenaline industry. To truly honor this woman's dignity, why not end wild animal parks once and for all?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Perhaps food was being thrown from the car as the bears or other animals are fed. If this is done everyday of course the bear will know where to go looking for food or break into the car if the smell of food is there and she was caught off guard. RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"In 2012, an unknown number of bears escaped from snow-covered Hachimantai bear park in northern Akita Prefecture, "

My memory says it was six bears that got loose.

5SpeedRacer5,

Why did you say the woman got out of her car snd got mauled? All released information indicates that she was in her car and the bear got into the car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wouldn't drive in a small car without any protection knowing a 150-200kgs bear could smash the car and kill me should he feel like it. Breakdowns happen too. Poor lady.

Breakdowns aren't necessary. All that's needed is a few animals standing in the road and the car comes to a halt. It could have been something as silly as a new fragrance she was wearing that smelled like food to the bear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gogogo, I didn't realise that there was lions swell, oh dear, this poor woman what a dilemma she must of had, stay in the car get injured, get out get injured. I would like to know if she had a radio to contact control for help, what safety policies do the zoo have?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to the news reports she was a 25 year veteran of the park and was a park "ranger".

Information that was conveniently left out of the article, it would have precluded my initial comment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Brian Wheway Just take a look on their website http://www.safari.co.jp/guidance/system_en.html

See how close you get to the lions and other animals in the photos. You drive your own car around or take the bus. But you are meters if not CM's away from these animals with only your window glass to protect you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you are meters if not CM's away from these animals with only your window glass to protect you.

Only? Have you ever tried to break a car window? Almost impossible without some sort of tool. An elephant may be able to step on one, but I don't see how a lion or a bear could break a car window.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bears break car windows all the time. If you had the internet, which apparently you don't, you could check this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I love this place, and have a great picture of a lioness perched on my family's laps, something you could never do in the USA. Sad that this happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We here in the UK have several safari parks around the country, they are very similar, but they have rangers in separate cars so if your car over heats, brake down, all you have to do is sound your horn and these guys will shunt your car out of they way. but they carry rifles just incase.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Was this woman trying to conserve gas by not using her AC? Why did she have her window open?? If the bear was trying to break her window why didn't she try to drive away???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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