7-year-old boy missing in Japan’s bear-infested forest found alive

  • The boy who went missing in a bear-infested forest in Japan was found alive after 6 days
  • 7-year-old Yamato Tanooka was abandoned by his parents in the forest as a punishment for misbehaving
  • The police said they are considering filing neglect charges against Yamato’s parents

The seven-year-old boy, who was abandoned by his parents in a bear-infested forest as a punishment for misbehaving, was found alive after 6 days.

“The boy was found alive,” a fire department rescuer who participated in the search for the missing boy told media.

The local police said the boy, who went missing since Saturday last week, was found Friday morning, June 3, by a soldier in a military drill area on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido.

The area is about 5 kilometers away from where he went missing, or 7 kilometers if travelling via the region’s forest paths, The Guardian’s Justin McCurry noted in his article dated June 3, 2016.

“A Self-Defence Force (SDF) official who was on a drill found a boy whose age appeared to be seven,” a police spokesperson said.

“There was no conspicuous external injury, and the boy introduced himself as Yamato Tanooka,” he added.

The SDF soldier said the boy was very hungry and thirsty when he found him. He said he gave him water and rice balls.

The boy said he had been in the area where he was found for several days after walking alone in the forest.

A spokesman for the SDF, Manabu Takehara, said the boy was found in a relatively good health, but was flown by a helicopter to a hospital for check-up, where he was reunited with his parents.

Yamato’s parents were heavily criticized after he went missing. The enraged public called for them to be jailed for child abuse.

Police have said they are considering filing neglect charges against the boy’s parents.

 

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