As per Japanese public broadcaster NHK, a brown bear was shot to death in northern Japan on Friday after tearing through a residential area and injuring four people. A resident in Sapporo, which will host the Olympic Marathon and Olympic Race Walking events at the Tokyo Games this summer, first saw a bear on the road in the early hours of the morning.
Soon after, Hokkaido police tweeted they were on the lookout for the bear, stating that many people reported seeing the bear since the sighting and people had been injured. “If you spot a bear, please be very careful, escape immediately and call 110,” Hokkaido police tweeted. The bear was seen wandering a street in Sapporo, according to footage broadcast on local television. The bear was crossing a busy road and forcefully entered Ground Self-Defense Force’s Camp Okadama after being pursued by a car. The bear knocked down a uniformed soldier on duty at the gate.
According to the Defense Ministry, the soldier suffered cuts to his chest and stomach, but his injuries are not life-threatening. All night in a city in northern Japan, the bear was roaming freely. The incident also disrupted flights as the bear entered the grounds of Okadama Airport, including the runway. As a result, the airport had to temporarily shutdown and some of the flights got cancelled. As per the spokesman, the bear was shot and killed after 11 a.m. northeast of Okadama Airport, close to Camp Okadama.
As reported in the Asahi newspaper, the bear, which was between 5 feet to 6 ½ feet tall, had attacked and injured many people before entering the base camp. A 40-year-old man was among the victims, who suffered serious injuries including broken chest bone. Minor injuries are sustained by an 80-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man as well.
In Jiji Press, the bear was first spotted in a residential area around 3:30 a.m. As stated in a report, it roamed in large areas of Japan, including the country’s main island, which are home to Asian black bears, while brown bears roam Hokkaido to the north. The Japan Bear and Forest Society have issued a warning that forest-dwelling bears are increasingly being seen in human-populated areas searching for food.