Hokkaido Man Reported Missing; Possible Bear Attack

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Signboard of the Hokkaido prefectural police

ASAHIKAWA, Hokkaido — A 54-year-old fisherman was reported missing on Sunday. A person related to a ferry boat operator was scheduled to pick him up at Shumarinai Lake in Horokanai, Hokkaido, but could not locate him and spotted a bear with waders in its mouth.

Local hunters found a part of a human body near the lake and killed a 1.5-meter-long bear nearby on Monday.

The man from Okoppe, Hokkaido, has been missing since telling people he was going fishing, local police said. The police are investigating and think it is possible that he may have been attacked by a bear.

A bear was also spotted around the lake on May 9, according to the Lake Shumarinai World Center, a nonprofit organization that operates the boat.

So far this year, a man was attacked in the mountains in Hakodate in February, and a woman was injured in Akkeshi in April, according to the Hokkaido prefectural government’s department in charge of brown bears.