Wild Brown Bear Enters Military Camp And Wounds Four Before Being Shot
Four people have been injured, schools were closed and several flights were disrupted after a wild bear went on an hours-long rampage in a Japanese city.
The brown bear also broke into a military camp and ran onto a nearby airport runway, before eventually being taken down by local hunters. Three residents and a soldier suffered injuries, though authorities have confirmed no one was killed.
The bear was first spotted in Sapporo, a city in the northern Hokkaido prefecture on Friday, June 18. Residents called the police in the early hours of the morning to report the animal roaming through the city’s streets.
Over the next eight hours, AP reports the bear attacked three civilians: a woman in her 80s, and two men in their 70s and 40s respectively.
Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports that the man in his 40s suffered ‘severe injuries’ to his chest, back and limbs after being mauled while walking in the street. The condition of the two elderly residents is unknown. Following the attacks, local news footage showed emergency service workers closing down streets and attempting to move residents out of the bear’s path, while dozens of nearby schools were closed for the day.
After spending several hours wandering through Sapporo, the bear then made its way towards a nearby military training camp. Footage aired on local television and reported by AP shows the animal being chased by a car along a busy road, before forcing its way into the camp, knocking down the soldier who was guarding the entrance.
The Defense Ministry has since confirmed that one soldier suffered cuts to his chest and stomach in the incident at the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Camp Okadama in the north of the city, but added that his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
With soldiers at the camp told to remain inside, no attempts were made to take down the bear, which made its way through the camp onto the runway of Okadama airport, which backs onto the military camp, leading to several flights being grounded.
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After having caused numerous injuries and massive disruption to the local area over a period of several hours, the bear was eventually fatally shot by local hunters in nearby woodland.
A spokesperson for the Sapporo city environmental department apologised to those injured, explaining that authorities were investigating how the animal came to be in the city.
Experts say that while brown bears typically keep to the woods bordering Sapporo, there have been increasing sightings of the animals wandering into residential areas in search of food. As of 2015, there were an estimated 10,500 bears on the island of Hokkaido.
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