Japan’s Ninja Bear Shot and Killed in Hokkaido, Eaten as Yakiniku in Tokyo, to Become Stew Next
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Japan’s Ninja Bear Shot and Killed in Hokkaido, Eaten as Yakiniku in Tokyo, to Become Stew Next

After four year of attacking dairy cows in Japan’s northernmost prefecture, the Ninja Bear ends up on the grill.

For a period of four years, dairy farmers in the eastern part of Hokkaido Prefecture have been dealing with attacks on their livestock by a brown bear that wildlife authorities refer to as Oso 18. That designation comes from its first measured front-paw pawprints being 18 centimeters (7.1 inches) across, but Oso 18 is also known by another name: the Ninja Bear.

But it’s now been confirmed that the Ninja Bear been killed, and he’s been eaten too.

Despite multiple traps and hunting party sessions, the Ninja Bear managed to evade capture and almost entirely evade detection for years. It seemed to have learned how to avoid traps, was seen on security camera footage only about once a year, and made its attacks at night, benefiting not only from the cover of darkness but also, though likely unconsciously, from ordinances that prohibit the use of hunting rifles after sundown.

Between July of 2019 and June of this year, the Ninja Bear attacked 66 dairy cows in the towns of Shibecha and Akkeshi, resulting in 32 animal deaths. Though the Ninja Bear wasn’t leaving behind themed calling cards, investigators were able to tell that it was the same bear involved, based on analysis of fur left behind at the scenes of the attacks. That DNA record allowed authorities to confirm that a 2.1-meter (6.9-foot) 330-kilogram (728-pound) brown bear shot and killed by a hunter on July 28 in the town of Kushiro was the Ninja Bear.

The DNA analysis confirmation wasn’t completed and announced until August 22, resulting in a retroactive surprise for those who’d recently eaten at Amakara Kumakara, an upscale restaurant in Tokyo’s Ningyocho that specializes in wild game. As is the norm when wild animals are hunted in Japan, the meat from the brown bear shot in Kushiro on July 28 was sold to restaurants, with Amakara Kumakara a buyer. Following the disclosure of the DNA analysis results, Amakara Kumakara confirmed that the bear meat it had served yakiniku-style on the week of August 14 was from the Ninja Bear. The restaurant also says that all of the cuts usable as yakiniku have already been sold and eaten, but that it plans to offer the remaining Ninja Bear meat as kamui ohau, a traditional Hokkaido bear meat hot pot stew, starting next month.

Source : Sorenews24