Asiatic Black Bear Hurts 9 In Japan

Sky, Bear Hunting Magazine
09/21/2009

An Asiatic black bear injured nine people before being shot in a shop at a Japanese bus station. Four were seriously hurt in the attack in Nyukawa, a small mountain town about 140 miles west of Tokyo, with the most severe suffering serious wounds to the face. Others suffered broken bones, but none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

The four-foot Asian black bear entered the station parking area from a mountain path and began chasing a visitor. Another visitor tried to beat back the bear with a stick, but the bear retaliated, seriously injuring the man.

Several employees then tried to help the injured man, but were also wounded by the bear, according to reports. Other people tried to chase it off by honking car horns but ended up only causing it to run into the terminal's building, injuring more people in the process.

An employee was able to corner the bear in a souvenir shop by spraying a fire extinguisher and then trapping by closing the shop's shutters. Police arrived with other locals and the animal was shot dead. The rest stop is on a mountainous road that is open during summer months only to licensed buses and taxis. The area is popular with tourists for its scenic views.

Bear attacks are said to be rare in the area but this is the most dangerous time of year as the animals are feverishly looking for food to prepare for the winter hibernation.

Information on the Asiatic (Asian) Black Bear:
The Asiatic black bear looks much like the American black bear, but has wider, more pronounced ears and a distinctive white or cream "V" on its chest. Strong forelimbs and sharp claws help this husky animal climb trees. It can grow to be four to six feet long. Males weigh from 220 to 480 pounds, while females range from 110 to 275 pounds.

In south Asia, they are found from Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, Nepal and Bhutan east to Vietnam and northeast China. To the north, they live in southeast Russia, on Taiwan and on the Japanese islands of Honshu and Shikoku.



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