Hunters kill bear after it attacks man in Niigata


Hunters shot and killed a bear on Monday after it attacked a man in Murakami, Niigata Prefecture.

According to police, the 64-year-old man was gathering edible wild plants at around 6:15 a.m. on Monday morning when he was attacked and bitten by the bear. TBS reported that he suffered injuries to his hands and face but managed to walk two kilometers to a shopping area where he sought help.

Police alerted members of a local hunting society who found and shot the white-chested bear on Monday afternoon. It was about 1.47 meters long and weighed 92 kilograms.

Police said there had been four sightings of the bear in the same area since April 18.

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Four sightings of a bear in the woods in the last three days, and a 64-year-old man goes there at 6:15 am to take its food. Asking for trouble. This happens so many times a year. The height of stupidity, is how I see it.

In this case, poor bear!

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Poor bear indeed!!!! ****

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Of the two types of Japanese bear the Ezo-hi-guma of Hokkaido is considered more dangerous than the Tsuki-no wa guma of Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku.

The 'white-chested bear' in the article is probably the latter, the Asiatic Black Bear, sometimes called the Moon Bear.

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Hey nandakandamanda: 1 - did you stop to think that the old man probably didn't know that the bear was seen in the area in the last 3 days ? It's fair to say that he didn't know about it at all or at least give him the benefict of the doubt before calling him stupid 2- Why poor bear and not poor man who was just minding his own business and got attacked without provocation. It's fair to assume without provocation since he was old, alone, gathering edible plants and with no chance against the "beast"

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Right - no chance against the "beast," though, at his age, he was able to walk two kilometers for help. Have they not heard of tranquiliztion and relocation in this country?

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I think its likely that the old fella knew of the previous sightings; in rural Japan the town frequently broadcasts such news over the neighborhood loudspeaker system. My guess is that he's been picking sansai in the hills all his life and become blase about the dangers. I crossed paths with a bear near the foot of Mt Fuji a couple of years ago, and I was aware that they roamed the area. Really got my heart going, since then I always carry a whistle and very sharp stick on my hikes

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I f you go into the woods, you should always be aware of potential dangers to yourself.

This man wasn't that badly hurt if he could walk two kilometres!

Why shoot the bear when it was probably protecting its territory?

There is such a thing as a tranquiliser you know. Do you have to shoot or kill everything you see over there?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In the states and Canada where they have larger amounts of bears and a lot more people going into their territories the attacks are a lot less. Does this mean the bears in Japan are a lot more aggressive or is it just the people are more stupid? Bears will usually only attack if they are startled or if they have cubs in the vicinity. If you are gonna go into area where you know there are bears you need to make as much noise as you can so the bear knows you are coming and they will run away. Even a large bell on your backpack is enough to get the bears on their way. It doesn't seem right that this bear was shot and killed because a man, who has probably lived in the area his whole life, didn't take any precautions against bear attack.

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Why poor bear and not poor man who was just minding his own business and got attacked without provocation. It's fair to assume without provocation since he was old, alone, gathering edible plants and with no chance against the "beast"

Poor bear because it was likely a young animal looking for food that is in short supply this year in its usual territory and was startled by the man skulking about in the undergrowth. The bear was probably as afraid as the man, if not more so.

Not poor man because at his age (though 64 is not 'an old man') he should have known better than to go wandering around alone in the woods paying more attention to getting free food than to his surroundings, in an area where there were known to be bears.

From the local Niigata Nippo newspaper -

民家に近い場所での目撃例が続いており、市は看板を立てるなどして注意を呼び掛けている。 村上署によると、市内では6~18日、少なくとも6件のクマ目撃情報があった。

(There has been a series of sightings in areas close to private homes, and the city authorities have been putting up noticeboards to warn people to be careful. According to the Murakami Police, between the 6th and the 18th there were at least 6 bear sightings reported in the city.)


(The city authorities are continuing to alert the public to the danger via the emergency email system and radio announcements.)


(According to Prof. Hideo Miguchi of the Agriculture Faculty (Woodland Ecology) of Niigata University, "From sighting reports in the prefecture, it seems that the year before last large numbers of cubs were born. It's possible that bears that left their mothers last year have come down from the mountains in search of food in urban areas where there is less snow.")

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I don't think the bear should have been euthanized for being a bear. If they even shot the right one! many factors prompt bear attacks. And the bear only 2k from a Shopping Center!

When in the woods with potentially dangerous animals it makes sense to broadcast you presence so they have an opportunity to avoid us. If walking silent through the forrest (which I love to do) you may surprise animals and they will react. This bear if surprised reacted with a simple attack and fled. The man walked two kilometers after the attack the bear was simply protecting territory maybe.

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It's also an endangered species. Japan has regular over reactions to "troublesome" bears, some of them extreme. In one year something like a 1/3 of the population was slaughtered just because some bears wandered into a tourist area looking for food.

However, it's a problem created by man and exacerbated by the demise of rural communities and, particularly, the satoyama which used to divide the human area from the bears' area. They were their woods first ... since pre-historic times.

Bears' natural deciduous forests have been destroyed by man and nature turned into a desert of monocrop-ed pine which, paradoxically, is now worth so little due to cheap imports from the US and elsewhere. Foresters can no longer even afford to maintain it, never mind exploit it.

Of course, for the hunters, it's a welfare payment and they'll probably sell their gall bladder and other parts. The bears don't need to be killed.

Animal rights, welfare and management are not Japan's strong points, but there is hope is NPOs like Kumamori.

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Does this mean the bears in Japan are a lot more aggressive or is it just the people are more stupid?

The "moon" bear is considered more aggressive than the North American black bear and the European brown bear. How much more aggressive I don't know.

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Just for clarity, I said 'poor bear' because the bear is dead. The man has scratch marks on his face and hands.

Now, which is it?

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