Fisherman fends off attacking bear with karate blows

TOKYO • A fisherman fought off an attacking bear using his bare hands with quick blows aimed at the animal's eyes, local media reports said yesterday.

The 63-year-old, whose name was not disclosed, is a karate black-belt holder. He was fishing at a popular spot on the Jizo River in Gunma prefecture on Thursday when the 1.9m-tall bear suddenly appeared.

The animal, said to be an Asian black bear, reportedly sprang on the man when their eyes met. It fled upstream after the man, who is about 1.7m-tall, fought back.

After the attack, the man made his way to a nearby hospital in Naganohara town, where he received treatment for slight injuries. He suffered bite and claw marks on the right side of his upper body, head and arms.

Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun quoted the Naganohara municipal government's section head for agriculture and forestry as saying: "There hasn't been anyone injured by a bear in this town for several years."

The town has since posted warning signs on roads, local hot springs and other locations. The local hunting club was also preparing to set up bear traps.

Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'Fisherman fends off attacking bear with karate blows'. Print Edition | Subscribe