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Record number of killings threatens Japan's black bear population


"We killed too many bears that were thought to be harmful over the past year," Hideki Koumo, a member of a hunting association in Niigata prefecture told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. "I don't think there are any bears left in these mountains."

As much as 50% of Japan's Asiatic black bear population was killed last year as animals encroached upon human civilization. A lack of food in the wild likely led the bears into the crosshairs of local hunters and officials.

The Guardian has the full story: Japan's black bears 'face extinction'