A brown bear was shot dead today after injuring four people while rampaging through a Japanese city and attacking soldiers at a barracks.
Dramatic footage showed the bear bounding down busy streets in Sapporo before it darted across a main road and started clawing at the gates of the barracks where it knocked a soldier to the ground as other troops fled in terror.
Schools were shut and flights were cancelled at the regional airport as a team of hunters were deployed alongside police to track the animal down.
City officials later tweeted that the beast had been 'exterminated' - shot by the hunters.
One soldier was injured in the bear's rampage in the city, which will host the Olympic marathon and race-walking events in August.
Another victim was mauled by the bear after it attacked him from behind, TV footage showed. The person was taken away on a stretcher.
Earlier, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told people in the Hokkaido region to be on alert.
'A total of four people, including one Self-Defense Forces member, have been attacked and injured by the brown bear. We express our sincere sympathy to them,' he said.
'Officials from Sapporo City, the Hokkaido police, a local hunting association and other concerned agencies have arrived at the scene. They are coordinating efforts to capture the brown bear, or if deemed necessary, exterminate it.'
A brown bear was shot dead in northern Japan after tearing through a residential area on Friday and injuring four people, according to a Japanese public broadcaster https://t.co/Hb8Yg0LAZZ— CNN International (@cnni) June 18, 2021
One of the victims was in their 40s, one in their 70s and another in their 80s, according to NHK, which did not give details of the fourth.
Asian black bears are native to large parts of Japan, including the country's main island, while brown bears roam Hokkaido further north.
The Japan Bear and Forest Society has warned that forest-dwelling bears are being
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.