A Japanese climber had the scare of a lifetime when an aggressive Japanese black bear suddenly charged at him as he descended a mountain earlier this month.
The adrenaline-pumping moment occurred on Oct. 1 at Mt. Futago, a dormant volcano in Japan’s Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The encounter was captured on an action camera and uploaded to YouTube on Oct. 5.
In his now-viral video, which has garnered over 2.3 million views, the climber can be seen scaring off the bear by kicking it, hitting its head and screaming at it. To his relief, the bear eventually runs off.
The climber shared that he sustained a few scratches and cuts from holding onto the mountain’s rocky ridge, as well as a sprained right wrist after hitting the bear.
According to the climber, the bear was only acting naturally in response to an invasion of its territory.
As mainly nocturnal creatures whose nests can be found in trees and on the sides of steep slopes, Japanese black bears are marginally smaller than Asiatic black bears commonly found in southern Asia.
According to Bear Conservation, male Japanese black bears typically weigh between 60 kilograms and 120 kilograms (approximately 132 pounds and 264 pounds), while females weigh between 40 kilograms and 100 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds and 220 pounds). A male Asiatic black bear can weigh up to 200 kilograms (approximately 441 pounds).
As for length, a Japanese black bear’s body length is usually between 120 centimeters and 140 centimeters (approximately 47 inches and 55 inches), while a male Asiatic black bear can have a total length of up to 190 centimeters (approximately 74 inches).
There are an estimated 10,000 Japanese black bears remaining in Japan. Around 30 percent to 50 percent of their total population — 4,251 bears — were killed in 2006. The species has reportedly become extinct on the Japanese island of Kyushu.