It crossed the river and headed toward us! A fisherman was attacked and killed in Lake Shumarinai, Hokkaido, “A reporter encountered a killer brown bear” shivering experience | FRIDAY DIGITAL

It crossed the river and headed toward us! A fisherman was attacked and killed in Lake Shumarinai, Hokkaido, “A reporter encountered a killer brown bear” shivering experience

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Two brown bears encountered by the reporter

Two brown bears, probably a mother and her cubs, emerged from the forest and walked leisurely along the riverbank. For a reporter living in Tokyo, a wild brown bear was a rare sight. As I was taking pictures with my smartphone, a brown bear recognized me. The brown bears recognized the reporter and crossed the shallow river toward him!

On May 14, a 54-year-old man lost his life after being attacked by a killer brown bear. Toshihiro Nishikawa, a resident of Hokkaido who had come to Lake Shumarinai in the town of Horokanai, Hokkaido, to fish, went missing. A head so damaged that its sex could not be determined was found near the fishing spot, and parts of a human body were found inside the body of an exterminated brown bear.

Mr. Nishikawa was dropped off by a guide at his fishing spot on Lake Shumarinai by boat around 5:30 a.m. on the early morning of the 14th. When the guide went to pick him up around 9:00 a.m., Nishikawa was nowhere to be found and his cell phone was disconnected. The guide spotted a brown bear with a pair of boots in its mouth about 30 meters away and called 110.

At 2:00 p.m. on the following afternoon, 15 people, including members of a local hunting club and firefighters, went to the site and found a human head with a severely scratched face. Another hour later, they identified and exterminated a 1.5-meter-long male brown bear. Nine kilograms of contents, including pieces of meat and bones, were found in the brown bear’s stomach,” said a reporter from a national newspaper’s society section.

The brown bear chased the car!

Brown bear found in the bushes

Police The police identified the body as Mr. Nishikawa based on DNA analysis and other evidence. They also found his driver’s license and other items that could confirm his identity. The town of Horokanai will suspend fishing boat operations at Lake Shumarinai until safety is confirmed.

In Hokkaido, there has been a series of reports of brown bears being sighted. In Muroran City, a brown bear has often been seen walking proudly along a residential street, and the city has issued a ‘brown bear warning’ for some areas. In the town of Atsugishi-cho, a woman was attacked and seriously injured while out for a walk.

The last time this reporter saw a brown bear was when he visited the Shiretoko Peninsula last August. Two brown bears, one about the same size as the one that was exterminated in Shumarinai Lake and one smaller, were walking along the riverbank along the road.

As the reporter was taking pictures with his smartphone, the brown bears crossed the river and turned to walk toward us. The bear was about 10 meters away. Feeling fear, the reporter rushed to a rental car parked nearby. When he sped up the car, the brown bear ran after him. There were no people or cars around, so he left the area at a high speed and the brown bear moved away from him. When we moved to a safe place and stopped the car, my armpits were soaked with sweat.

When I told the owner, a local resident who was staying with us that night, about my experience during the day, he warned me, “Brown bears chase what they can get away with.

Brown bears have the habit of chasing those that run away, so you must never start running in a hurry. Brown bears are huge, but they run fast (about 40 km/h). It is impossible for a human to run away from them. If you should encounter one, back away slowly to a safe place. It is also effective to wear something that makes noise, such as a bell, to let brown bears know your presence in advance.

Brown bears these days have become accustomed to humans and may approach us without fear. Please do not feed them out of curiosity. It will cause them to become less and less cautious, and they will recognize humans as ‘food carriers,’ which will lead to more trouble.

The reporter reflected on his own misguided behavior. When you encounter a brown bear, please remember this owner’s advice.

Two brown bears coming out of the forest to the riverbank.
Up close, they are quite intimidating.
They playfully walk to the riverbank
Walking leisurely in the river
The two animals looked like a father and son
  • PHOTO Tomomi Yamazaki

Photo Gallery7 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles