On the morning of Oct. 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway Co. was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later the same bear fractured the leg of another worker at a nearby construction site.

Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture. The 1.3-meter-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group.

"We have received an unprecedented number of reports of bear sightings this year in Kaga,” said Yukio Yamagishi, a director at the city’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division.