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Escaped bears kill two in Japan

United Kingdom,Environment/Wildlife, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 20 (IANS) Two women were attacked and killed by a group of bears who escaped from their cages in Japan's Hachimantai bear park in Akita region.


Hunters are searching the snow-covered area for the bears after two bodies, thought to be park workers, were recovered. It's unknown how many of the 38 bears are on the loose but six have already been shot dead, The Sun reported Friday.


The alarm was raised after attacks were reported in the park which was closed for winter. There were three workers -- a man and two women -- in the park at the time.


According to reports the man was able to escape, while one woman was badly mauled and another went missing. The two bodies were later recovered.


The hunt for the bears is not yet over, a police spokesman said, adding: "It's difficult to say exactly how many bears left their cages."


Police have asked local residents and school children to stay indoors.


The park is home to mostly brown bears and is open to tourists in summer months where they are permitted to feed the animals.


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