Two men killed in apparent bear attacks in Akita


Two men have been killed in apparent bear attacks over the weekend in the same area of a forest region in Kazuno, Akita Prefecture.

According to police, the body of Noboru Takahashi, 78, was found at around 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Fuji TV quoted police as saying he had bite and scratch marks on his body consistent with a bear attack.

Takahashi and his wife had gone picking bamboo shoots in the forest on Sunday morning. His wife said they had been blowing whistles to scare away bears. However, they were approached by a bear and Noboru yelled at her to run away, after which his whereabouts became unknown. Police believe the bear mauled the man and dragged him away.

The area is known as a bear habitat, even though many locals frequently visit it to pick bamboo shoots.

In another apparent bear attack in the same area, police found the body of an elderly man on Saturday. His body also had bite and scratch marks.

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Not good when bear get the taste of man. Typically bears should run away from humans but not so much these days. RIP gentlemen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ouch, made me think of that scene in the revenant. And considering the time of year could well be that he/she was protecting cubs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It is just as likely a mother bear with one or two cubs. She will protect them from what appears to her like sudden intrusion. It is vital to make noise when moving about. This bear does not have the "taste of man". There is no account of the humans being eaten, even partly. They were just attacked.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The area is known as a bear habitat

The area is known as a bear habitat

The area is known as a bear habitat

Who goes looking for bamboo shoots in a bear habitat?? Either cultivate a friendly neighbour who has a bamboo grove (most folk are grateful to have them thinned out, otherwise they become impenetrable in a very short time), or take a trip to the local supermarket, they're stocked with fresh bamboo shoots at non-unreasonable prices at this time of year.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Agree with cleo. If you know that there are alot of bears around, don't go in there. Its safer to grow them in your own backyard, or if you don't have one you can buy them not just from the supermarket but also the Michi no Eki for real cheap. Its better not to disturb habitats; bad things can happen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They were approached by a bear and Noboru yelled at her to run away,

He yelled at his wife or the bear?

Also, agree with Cleo – if it's a known bear habitat that means it's not a known Human habitat. Stay clear.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

In the same area a bear got into a rice silo and could not get back out because he eat that much rice the bear could not fit through the open to which it entered.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

His wife said they had been blowing whistles to scare away bears.

It'd be better if they were armed with a socom rifle.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Moonraker you are correct that this is most likely a protective sow, or territorial male, however there are many documented bear attacks in North America and Asia (Japan), where different types of bears have attacked and partially eaten humans. Bears are in the same family as pigs and dogs and are opportunistic, scavenging feeders. They will not hesitate to take down a human if they appear to be easy prey.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

North Eastern Pennsylvania - highest human bear mix in the world. Deaths are VERY rare. Why ? - know how to behave, culturally live close with them on a daily basis. Eating their food supply - is not too smart ... It is like taking away their candy. I am sympathetic for the loss of these two men. In this case Americans may be able to teach something here.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Bears are in their own family (Ursidae) dogs are in Canidae and pig are in Suidae. Now dogs are at least in the same order as bears (i.e Carnivora). Pigs are in a different order even (Artiodactyla) along with hippos, deer, cattle, etc. Having said that, bears are generalist omnivores, so you are right about that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is often older people who get attacked. They have probably gone into these areas since childhood and they just do not get it that the bear habitat is shrinking. Sad, but people have to understand nature does not discriminate, only humans do. Sad too as all his mates will load up and kill a bear. Maybe the right one, and maybe it's cubs too. All over some takenoko.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Who goes looking for bamboo shoots in a bear habitat??

Man, now everybody and their mama has bamboo shoot out in the countryside. They always spread the wealth to neighbors and friends so it is better just to wait for someone to give them to you if you need your fix.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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