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Charging bear attacks karate practitioner in Japan: ‘I thought I should act or else I’ll be killed’

A pair of bear In Japan, they chose the wrong person to mess with on Thursday when they approached a 50-year-old karate practitioner and were later kicked out, police and media said, marking the latest in a series of attacks in the country in recent months.

Masato Fukuda was slightly injured during his encounter with the bears Thursday morning in the town of Nayoro, on the northern island of Hokkaido, police told AFP.

The man was coming from Japan’s central Aichi region to see a waterfall in the mountainous Nayoro region when he chanced upon two brown bears poking their faces out of the bushes, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

One of them approached him – but unfortunately for the animal, Fukuda was experienced in the martial art of karate, according to media reports.

“I thought I had to act, otherwise I will be killed,” he told a local television station.

Fukuda kicked him in the face – twice – and in doing so twisted his leg, but his attack quickly scared the unfortunate duo away, according to reports.

Both animals appeared to be about five feet tall, according to media reports. Brown bears can weigh 1,100 pounds and outrun a human.

The incident comes about eight years after a karate black belt fought off a charging brown bear while fishing in Japan, the Mainichi newspaper reported. This man had bite and claw marks on the right side of his upper body, head and arms.

There were a record 193 bear attacks in Japan last year, including six fatalwhich represents the highest number since counting began in 2006.

In November, a a bear attack was suspected after a student was found dead on a mountain in northern Japan. Last May, police said at the time that they believed the man had been mauled and decapitated by a brown bear after a human head was found in the northern part of the island.

Experts told CBS News that there are mainly two reasons for the increase in attacks. First, a dry summer left fewer acorns and beechnuts – their main food – and so hunger made them bold. Second, as Japan’s population declines, humans move out of rural areas and bears move in.

“Then this area reverted to forest, which gives the bears a chance to expand their range,” biologist Koji Yamazaki of Tokyo Agricultural University told CBS News.

Last August, hunters killed an elusive brown bear nicknamed “Ninja” in northern Japan after attacking at least 66 cows, the ministry said. Associated Press reported. And in early October, local Japanese authorities and media reported that three bears had been euthanized after being killed. sneak into a tatami factory in the northern part of the country.


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