TOKYO – A Japanese man who disappeared after going to collect plants in northern Japan last week was found dead Monday after being attacked by a bear, police said.
Hitoshi Nakayama, a 53-year-old carpenter, was mauled beside a river on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido and his body floated about 10 kilometers (6 miles) downstream, said local police spokesman Shinichi Urasunai.
His body was found on a beach near the mouth of a river in Shinhidaka, 830 kilometers (515 miles), northwest of Tokyo, Urasunai said. Nakayama's pants and sweater were tainted with blood, which was also found along the river bank upstream, he said.
Nakayama had been missing since last Friday, when he went to a mountain to gather edible wild plants alone, Urasunai said, adding that it was not immediately known when the attack happened.
Reports of bear attacks are common at this time of the year, when the animals are breeding and become aggressive. The latest case was the second known fatal bear attack in Japan this year.
Last Thursday, a 52-year-old hotel employee was killed by a bear while collecting plants on a mountain in Nagano prefecture (state), central Japan.