Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Japanese Black Bear Angered By Tourists, Attacks - Older Brother Arrives Too Late

Bear in Japan injures 9 at highway rest stop

Updated Sun. Sep. 20 2009 9:02 AM ET

The Associated Press

TOKYO -- A bear injured nine people at a highway rest stop in central Japan before being shot dead in a souvenir shop, a firefighter said Sunday.

The black bear seriously injured four men Saturday afternoon in Nyukawa, a small mountain town about 230 kilometres west of Tokyo, said firefighter Tomohiko Akano.

The 1.3-metre bear first attacked people at a bus parking lot and then entered a lodge where it was trapped in a souvenir shop and shot dead by a hunter, according to media reports.

No one suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack, which lasted about an hour, reports said.

A photograph from the scene showed the bear mauling a prone person in a parking lot while a man attempted to scare it off.

The rest stop is on a mountainous road that is open during summer months only to licensed buses and taxis. The area is frequented by tourists for its scenic views.

The bears prefer the tourists leave the scenic views to them, the year-round residents of the area.

Akano said bear attacks are very rare in the area.

Shortly after the tourists departed on the bus, the shot bear's older brother showed up in search of his little brother. Enraged on finding his brother's corpse, the larger brother bear tore down the souvenir shop, taking many souvenirs with him for other bears.

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