Japanese hunters kill bear after hours-long rampage that injured 4

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A brown bear raged for eight hours, injuring four people, breaking into a military camp and stopping flights in northern Japan on Friday before being fatally shot.

The animal has been seen wandering the streets of Sapporo, which is slated to host Olympic events this summer, in the wee hours of the morning, triggering multiple calls to police. Hokkaido police said the bear injured an 80-year-old woman, a 70-year-old man, a 40-year-old man and a soldier.

Their conditions were not immediately known.

“If you find a bear, be sure to evacuate immediately,” the police department said tweeted.

This photo shows a brown bear roaming free in Sapporo, Hokkaido on Friday.  A brown bear was at large in the city of Sapporo in northern Japan, and the government has warned residents to stay home after the animal injured four people, including a soldier.  (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP via Getty Images)
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This photo shows a brown bear roaming free in Sapporo, Hokkaido on Friday. A brown bear was at large in the city of Sapporo in northern Japan, and the government has warned residents to stay home after the animal injured four people, including a soldier. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Video footage of the bear shows him wandering the street. At one point, he was chased by a car on a busy road and forced his way into the Land Self-Defense Force’s Okadama camp where he ran over a soldier on duty at the gate.

The soldier suffered cuts to his chest and stomach, the defense ministry said. The injuries were not life threatening, officials said.

Flights were halted at a local airport and some elementary and secondary schools were closed, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, NHK reported.

The animal was shot by local hunters after colliding with a forest.

Toshihiro Hamada, an official with the environmental department of the city of Sapporo, said authorities were investigating how the animal ended up in the city.

A slaughtered bear is transported to Sapporo in northern Japan on Friday.  The wild brown bear roaming free in the city overnight injured four people, entered a military camp and disrupted flights at the airport on Friday before being shot by authorities.  (Yohei Fukai / Kyodo News via AP)

A slaughtered bear is transported to Sapporo in northern Japan on Friday. The wild brown bear roaming free in the city overnight injured four people, entered a military camp and disrupted flights at the airport on Friday before being shot by authorities. (Yohei Fukai / Kyodo News via AP)

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“We are sorry that four people were injured,” Hamada said.

Brown bears mostly roam the forests of Hokkaido, but experts say they are increasingly seen in populated areas foraging, especially during the summer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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