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2 central Japan women left with serious injuries after bear attacks in gardens

The Toyama Prefectural Police headquarters (Mainichi/Kazuo Yanagisawa)

TOYAMA -- Two local women were sent to hospital with serious injuries after bear attacks in their gardens in this central Japan city on the morning of May 17, police said.

Sachiko Imai, 84, a local resident who runs a restaurant, was bitten by a bear on her right arm and leg while farming in her vegetable garden at around 9:30 a.m. About five minutes earlier, Tomiko Ogura, 92, encountered a bear in a vegetable garden on the premises of her house, which is located about 200 meters northwest of where Imai was attacked. A shocked Ogura fell and broke her left leg. The two women were transported to hospitals but their injuries are not life-threatening, according to Toyama Prefectural Police's Toyama Minami Police Station.

Toyama police later announced that members of a hunters' association shot a bear to death near the area on the afternoon of the same day.

Since September 2019, bear attacks have been occurring more frequently in the prefecture and there have been many reports of sightings this year. The Toyama Prefectural Government and other authorities are warning people to be on the alert.

(Japanese original by Shunsuke Takara, Toyama Bureau)

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