Bear Spotted on Grounds of High School in Akita Prefecture; Driven Away with Firecrackers After 7-Hour Standoff

NOSHIRO, Akita – At around 11:35 a.m. on Thursday, a woman in her 70s saw a bear (about 50 centimeters long) on the grounds of the Noshiro High School Futatsui Campus in Futatsui, Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture, and called 110.

According to the Noshiro Police Department and the city, the bear ran around the grounds and then climbed a 5-meter-high cherry tree near the tennis court on the east side of the school building. The police, city officials and members of a hunting club continued to monitor the bear, and at around 6:20 p.m. the bear came down. They chased it away using firecrackers and it returned to the mountains.