Three women were attacked and two were killed by bears in a park in Japan. The bears were held captive in the park but broke free and attacked the women, who were park employees.
The BBC reports that three women, who worked at the Hachimantai park in northern Akita (Japan), were attacked by a group of bears. The bears were one of several animals exhibited in the park.
Hachimantai National Park is a national park comprising two separate areas of Aomori, Iwate, and Akita Prefectures, Japan
Sometime during the morning of April 20, the bears broke free and attacked the women. Two of the women were killed and one was managed to escape. The women were believed to have been in their 60s and 70s and had been feeding the bears at the time of the incident.
Police were called to the scene and enlisted the help of some local hunters to help track down the bears. Japan Today states that the hunters succeeded in tracking down some of the bears and killed six of them. However, an unknown number of bears have escaped. According to Channel 9 News, the park holds thirty-eight, mostly brown, bears in different cages. However, park authorities have said that it is difficult to count the number of bears remaining in cages and so it is difficult to estimate the number still at large.
ABC News notes that, in response to the bears at large, the Japanese police have issued a notice requesting that local residents remain indoors and some roads have been closed.
The animals which attacked, the brown bear, are known to attack humans in the wild. The brown bear can weigh between 300 and 780 kilograms (660 and 1,700 lb) .