Bear injures 9 at tourist area

TOKYO, Japan - September 20, 2009 The black bear seriously injured four men Saturday afternoon in Nyukawa, a small mountain town about 140 miles (230 kilometers) west of Tokyo, said firefighter Tomohiko Akano.

The 4-foot (1.3-meter) bear first attacked people at a bus parking lot and then entered a lodge where it was trapped in a souvenir shop and shot dead by a hunter, according to media reports.

No one suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack, which lasted about an hour, reports said.

A photograph from the scene showed the bear mauling a prone person in a parking lot while a man attempted to scare it off.

The rest stop is on a mountainous road that is open during summer months only to licensed buses and taxis. The area is frequented by tourists for its scenic views.

Akano said bear attacks are very rare in the area.

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