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Bear spotted waltzing into mall in Japan, staff evacuated

The Abio City Kaga shopping mall in Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture, is seen on Oct. 19, 2020. Police were called after a bear was spotted entering the building that morning. (Mainichi/Akihiro Fukao)

KAGA, Ishikawa -- A bear wandered into a shopping mall in this city on the Sea of Japan coast on the morning of Oct. 19, triggering an evacuation.

    Ishikawa Prefectural Police received an emergency call at about 7:50 a.m. reporting a bear had sauntered into the Abio City Kaga shopping mall through a delivery entrance. The animal is thought to be lurking inside, and officers are conducting a search.

    Staffers at the mall's shops have been evacuated, and stores remain closed. There have been no injuries reported, according to the local fire department and other sources.

    The mall is in an area with other stores, a hospital and other buildings in front of JR Kagaonsen Station. Yamashiro Onsen hot spring, where four people were attacked and injured by a bear over the Oct. 17-18 weekend in just the latest in a string of bear encounters in Japan, is about 3 kilometers south of the mall.

    (Japanese original by Chinatsu Ide, Hokuriku General Bureau)

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