SAPPORO -- A hunter shot a brown bear dead on Aug. 14 after it had been repeatedly spotted wandering in residential areas here, the municipal government said.
A hunter belonging to a local hunting association shot the female brown bear, which measured some 1.3 meters in length, in the mountains in the Fujino district of Minami Ward, Sapporo, in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido at around 6:05 a.m., according to city officials.
Experts have identified the bear as the one which was frequently spotted in residential parts of the ward. However, the municipal government said it cannot rule out the possibility that another brown bear has been appearing in the city's residential areas, and warned locals to be on full alert.
Since Aug. 2 a brown bear had been sighted repeatedly in residential quarters in Minami Ward during times spanning the late night to the early hours of the morning. The bear has allegedly caused damage in neighborhoods such as eating corn grown in home garden patches.
After raising the city brown bear plan's four-scale alert level to 2, the second highest level, the municipal government set up traps at two locations in mountain forests on Aug. 10. Due to the Aug. 12 spotting of a bear still loitering in an urban area by 8 a.m., city officials gave the green light to allow shooting the animals in the daytime.
(Japanese original by Kohei Shinkai, Hokkaido News Department)