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Man attacked by bear defends himself with pruning shears

43 Comments

A man escaped with his life thanks to a pair of pruning shears after he was attacked by a bear in Hokkaido, police said Monday.

According to police, Takashi Okabe, 53, was picking edible wild plants in the mountains with his son and a friend in Hokkaido's Shinhidaka on Sunday morning when the incident occurred. TBS reported that shortly after arriving at the mountains at around 10 a.m., Okabe called the emergency services to report that he had been attacked by a 2-meter-tall bear.

Okabe was struck multiple times across the face and chest by the animal, but was able to prevent serious injury by stabbing the bear using a pair of pruning shears he had carried with him.

Doctors say Okabe's life is not in danger and that he remains conscious. Teams reportedly searched for the bear but could not locate it. Police are warning residents to be on their guard against bear attacks in the area.

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43 Comments
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Why do these dummies go wandering into the wood, that they know have bears in, just to get some stupid weeds to eat?

The bear shouldn't be killed because some guy is an idiot.

Whenever I have to go into any woods, I have a stereo blaring AC/DC to let any bear within 5km know I'm coming long in advance.

-15 ( +10 / -25 )

He could use some bear mace.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I tend to agree with Probie's point, but not his sentiments. These people know the bears are there and that they are dangerous. There are many readily available devices for protection against bears. I bet he uses one next time he goes into the forest. He is very lucky there will be a next time.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Whenever I have to go into any woods, I have a stereo blaring AC/DC to let any bear within 5km know I'm coming long in advance.

Unusual way to enjoy the tranquility of nature.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Whenever I have to go into any woods, I have a stereo blaring AC/DC to let any bear within 5km know I'm coming long in advance.

Unusual way to enjoy the tranquility of nature.

I'd rather have noise than my face ripped off.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

One is suppose to go into fetal position with both hands cupping the back of the neck and arms protecting the face/neck.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Probie - what's a guy supposed to do if he wants to eat some edible wild plants? The guy probably wanted to enjoy a few leaves and branches while watching the Nippon Ham game. They don't sell that sort of merchandise at Lawson.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One is suppose to go into fetal position with both hands cupping the back of the neck and arms protecting the face/neck.

And belly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The guy probably wanted to enjoy a few leaves and branches while watching the Nippon Ham game.They don't sell that sort of merchandise at Lawson.

Edamame, hold the mame.

Good thing he was a fighter. Those Hidaka mountains are scary.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think it's a miracle the Japanese haven't wiped all the bears out already. And I commend them on this. They haven't had such an easy ride elsewhere. Back in England where I'm from, we wiped them all out plus wolves a long time a go sadly. Back to the article, no mention as to what the teams will do once they locate the bear, but I for one sincerely hope they don't kill it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As Probie said, noise(AC/DC qualifies) is generally enough to ward off bears, but a large caliber handgun is the best defence.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Back in England where I'm from, we wiped them all out plus wolves a long time a go sadly.

We wiped out the wolves in Hokkaido.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As Probie said, noise(AC/DC qualifies) is generally enough to ward off bears, but a large caliber handgun is the best defence.

Well, if it's a black bear, you should stand your ground and hit it in the face. Take a big stick with you. Or something to make noise so they know you're coming and to stay away. Listening to AC/DC will also get you pumped, in case you have to fight one.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What would be the best way to fight a bear? Kick it in the groin?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The son and friend took the right precautions. Only go into the woods with someone who is slower than yourself.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What would be the best way to fight a bear? Kick it in the groin?

Punch it in the face. Repeatedly. Or use a big stick.

Might not work and you could get ripped apart though.

I guess it depends on how much of a challenger you are.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Punch it in the face. Repeatedly. Or use a big stick.

You would need a pretty long reach to hit a 2m tall bear with a straight shot to the mush and not leave yourself open to the counter. The bear isn't going to be intelligent enough to use angles in its attack, so your best bet would probably be to move to the side and blast it with a stiff kick to the knee. Then get the hell out of there.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The teams locate the bear and offer the bear food to lead them back deeper into the woods.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I always carry a machine gun when I go into the mountains. Makes sense!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Bears don't always stay away from noise, but the sure way as was mentioned above is go in the woods with someone slower then you. Slowest gets caught, LOL, but really it's better to use pepper spray and run like hell then fight it. I'm in the USA of course so if I go in the woods I try to be armed, and it's good to carry a flare gun or device. I doubt a bear would keep chasing you with a flare burning in the middle of it's chest. Also I usually carry a large bush knife with a point. I lived near a wilderness area for several years. Lots of bears and even some mountain lions around. now they wander into suburban and even urban areas sometimes. I saw mountain lions at a water plant on a hill just above a housing area in San Jose, CA and a woman was killed jogging in a county park, then partially eaten further south. I worked at the plant and we had wild animals come through all the time. Lions were rare, but lots of Raccoons, fox, deer, and other stuff. When it got wild the outside work at night got postponed until it was safe. No weapons allowed. the deer are not tame and will attack anyone close, it's not like Miyajima.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well, if it's a black bear, you should stand your ground and hit it in the face.

I really hate to have to agree, but that is supposed to be the best way to stop an attack. You wave your hands, make noise, hit it, stand tall, etc. If you make yourself look small and weak, you become lunch.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

People get attacked by animals often, even their own pets. Bear bells or other noise might help but are not perfect.

And where do you stop? How about wild boar? Even deer will take a sever dislike to you at the wrong time and people have been mauled by them.

As for you Probie, just how many bears have you punched in the face? My bet is you would need clean underwear.

This guy showed some pluck I think.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As for you Probie, just how many bears have you punched in the face? My bet is you would need clean underwear.

No bears, sadly. But, I was in the marines for 10 years. So, I wouldn't need any clean underwear.I'm also 6'8", so a 2M tall bear ain't so big to me...

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Poor bear, it was only protecting its food supply that was being stolen from it. He should be charged for being stupid.and putting his life at risk. Leave the bear alone it is Not its fault but the Intruders .

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This was in Hokkaido so the bear was likely a higuma which is basically a grizzly bear, much bigger than the asian black bears, guy was pretty lucky!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I bet this guy is sitting there thinking "Wow, these injuries are so worth it to be able to say I fought a bear and won"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bear.. Good eating, nice warm rug, take a gun next time and he would help protect others in the future

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

probie thinking the marines can teach fighting a wild beast is cute.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow! All these manly tactics for fighting of a 100k+ bear in full attack mode. Do you really think anyone would have the peace of mind to focus their assault? You'd be kicking screaming and swinging at any part of the animal you could reach. Nobody has suggested putting your finger up its bum. Always works for pig dogs. Obviously, the best defense is to have devices to prevent bears attacking you in the first place.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

probie thinking the marines can teach fighting a wild beast is cute.

I never said the marines taught me how to fight a bear. Can you show me where I said that?

I'd certainly try if one was attacking me though. Anyone who wouldn't is a fool.

Wow! All these manly tactics for fighting of a 100k+ bear in full attack mode. Do you really think anyone would have the peace of mind to focus their assault?

People react different under stress. You can't put everyone into the same, urine-stained barrel.

You'd be kicking screaming and swinging at any part of the animal you could reach.

Which is probably the head, coming in to bite you.

Nobody has suggested putting your finger up its bum.

That's not my thing, sorry.

Always works for pig dogs.

Never met a pig dog, so I wouldn't know.

Obviously, the best defense is to have devices to prevent bears attacking you in the first place.

As I said at the start. Loud music to tell them to get out of your way.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This article strikes me personally. I sympathize for the man, for I was mauled by a bear while backpacking for ten nights in the Sangre de Christo mountains in New Mexico, USA. What saved my life was the following: safety in numbers (there were eight of us friends), we were all seasoned backpackers who understood the terrain and the dangers, meticulous logistical planning beforehand so that people knew where we should generally be on each night, and employed best practices to not attract bears. We took all of the reasonable precautions, but two of us were mauled on the fourth night in the mountains. In our case, few cubs died due to a mild winter and so there was an overabundance of bears relative to the food supply. We believe that this dynamic compelled a black bear to maul me. Planning ahead saved my life.

I respect bears and the ecosystem in which they live. I still backpack. I even encountered a black bear while descending a glacier in Alaska. I carry backpackers mace, wear "bear bells", strap two knives to my body, plus all of the other reasonable precautions. Depending on the circumstances of the encounter, you can almost reason with a bear (as silly as that sounds) and by using appropriate body language and tone, convince it to stand down. If you encounter a grizzly bear, you are in deep trouble. If you find yourself in between a mother and her cubs, you are in deep trouble. Black bears tend to stalk their prey and then attack with the element of surprise -- unless you're Rambo, a firearm may be too little too late. Sounds like this unfortunate fellow was surprised by a black bear.

That being said, carrying a firearm can be a useful defense against a bear attack. First, it depends on the firearm -- if you see the bear before it sees you, then you better not have a .22 at your side -- a 12g over/under is your best bet but it's very heavy, so saw the barrel to save weight. Second, if a bear charges you, I guarantee that your adrenaline rush will overwhelm any discipline to aim calmly, while a warm yellow stream trickles down your leg and fills your boots.

This man was lucky to have had the shears with which to stab the bear. Black bears like to maim their prey and settle down to eat while its prey is still alive. If you fight a black bear ferociously, you have a chance to ward it off. I'm ever so glad that this man escaped with his life. I hope that he recovers from his injuries and respects the ecosystem in which he is a foreign presence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I did survey work in Canada's wilderness with an old bushman who said he had once been confronted by a bear on a bridge. He tried to scare it, but it had a cub and instead of retreating it advanced towards him. When they were toe to toe he punched it in the nose. The bear howled and put it's paw on it's nose and fell over the side of the bridge. The cub saw it's mother down below and ran off the bridge to join her. The man was then able to get his horse-drawn wagon across the bridge. So if you are attacked, aim for the nose!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Come on, a gun, and a knife strapped to your legs, in Japan??? You'd be hauled down to the pokey in no time flat here in Japan. This isn't the US. Few people even qualify to use a gun in Japan. Does anyone know if you can get bear spray here? Is it legal? I mountain bike and have an annoying bell(annoying to me), but often wonder who's stalking me when I take a break. A little piece of mind would be a good thing to have, if I have the presence of mind to even use it and not spray myself in the eyes with it instead.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I don't think I would settle for laying on the ground in fetal position. If Im going to be a bears dinner, then Im gonna make it a hell of a fight! Id rather go down swinging.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder if he came too close to some bear cubs. That's the fastest way of getting attacked by a mother bear. No matter how cute they may look, its very dangerous to be in area with them. She will not stop attacking if she feel like they are in danger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@hooktrunk2

You can get guns here. Hunters have them (not surprisingly). You can also buy bear spray (mace) at outdoor stores.

Not that I've carried either while hiking. I don't go to places with bears, or at least I've never seen one yet. What are the chances? I guess this guy got the shock if his life - hope he pulls brought okay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I know hunters have guns, to suggest that hikers carry rifles around is preposterous. Anyway it is difficult to get a gun in Japan. If you've been in the woods then you've been to where places with bears. I'm still curious if you can get bear spray here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bears are very dangerous hope people take heed and are careful ..they are NOT cute in the wild at all they are wild beasts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm still curious if you can get bear spray here.

Yes, you can. Unless it's been banned, I've seen it for sale before.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With all due respect ChrisGerSan, I don't think you're bringing anything new to the table there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Everyone is an expert after reading an article but if a bear crept into your living room, you'd panic like most people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

looks like this guy fought off the bear long enough for the bear to decide it wasn't worth it. I think in order to fight a bear a man must have some form of a weapon.

Sorry Probie putting up your dukes won't be that effective on a 2meter tall bear u need a weapon in hand. Anything else aside from drawing blood would only seem to anger the bear more or maybe even excite it as a challenge. Have your ever seen 2 full grown bears rumble it out over territory or mating partners? I think i would put my fist down lol

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When I read the headline I knew this was Hokkaido.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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