Bear attacks in Japan continue at record level

More bear attacks have been occurring in northern Japan. On Wednesday, two people were taken to hospital after being attacked.

One man in his 40s was surprised by a bear early morning in Daisen City, Akita Prefecture, as he worked at a barn outside his house.

The man suffered injuries to his face and body and was taken to hospital in the city.

In Hachimantai City in Iwate Prefecture, a 71-year-old man checking on a wild boar trap was attacked in a forest.

He suffered injuries to his face and back, but was able to get home by himself before being taken to hospital.

The Environment Ministry says 180 bear attacks have been recorded since April, the highest number ever. Bear experts say food such as acorns is in short supply this year, driving the animals into residential areas to look for sustenance.

With tourism booming in the popular fall hiking season, authorities are urging caution. They are calling on people to stay away from places with poor visibility and make their presence known using bells or radios.