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Bear attacks continue in Akita

An Asian black bear was shot and killed in Kazuno City in June
An Asian black bear was shot and killed in Kazuno City in June

AKITA (TR) – Following the deaths of four persons due to attacks by bears earlier in Kazuno City this year, Akita Prefectural Police are investigating three more incidents, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 9).

At 4:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Kiyomi Abe, 77, suffered injuries to her head and back after she was attacked from behind by a bear in a field at her home in the Hachimantai area. After the woman let out a scream, the bear fled the scene along a national highway.

Ten minutes later, a bear scratched the right thigh of Taeko Abe, 75, in a field about 200 meters away from the first attack. In fleeing the area, the woman broke her left ankle after she jumped down from a height of 1.5 meters. The bear was last seen heading into a forest.

Police suspect that the same animal, measuring about one meter in length, attacked both women.

At 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, a bear attacked an 83-year-old man in a field in Semboku City, according to he Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 10). The man suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his face and chest.

In May and June, four men and women were found dead in the Towadaoyu area of Kazuno due to what are believed to have been attacks by bears. After the fourth body was found on June 10, a member of a hunting club shot and killed a 1.5-meter-tall Asian black bear three days later, according to the Sankei Shimbun (June 13). An examination of its stomach revealed human remains.