Bear picks wrong lady to mess with in her back yard.

Last Thursday evening Rumiko Sasaki and her husband were taking advantage of the long daylight hours of midsummer to do some weeding in their backyard. At about 5:30 they had an unexpected visitor, but it wasn’t any of the other people who live in their rural neighborhood of the town of Kita Hiroshimacho, Hiroshima Prefecture.

“There’s a bear!” Takahashi’s husband, Kazushi shouted, and when Rumiko looked up from where she’d been pulling weeds, sure enough, that’s what she saw. “When I stood up, there was a bear standing there, and it came right at me, aiming right at my face [with its claws],” she says.

Reared up on its hind legs, Rumiko estimates the bear (an Asian black bear) was about 150 centimeters (59 inches) tall, which would be average height for the species and, if male, probably weighing somewhere around 180 kilograms (396 pounds). So how did Rumiko react to suddenly finding herself under attack by a top-of-the-food-chain omnivore? In her own words:

“So I went ‘Aaaahhh!’ and tossed him off me and sent him flying. I think I hit him a few times too. Then he went running away.”

Considering that feat of strength, you might imagine Rumiko to be a bodybuilder, mixed martial artist, or somehow otherwise lead a lifestyle focused on building massive muscles and/or combat prowess on a level that she can spar with wild animals. And maybe at some point in her life she did, but she’s now a petite, kindly-looking 82-year-old senior citizen.

▼ Rumiko Sasaki, in amazingly good spirits for someone who just had a bear try to kill her

After Rumiko’s counterattack, the bear fled into the nearby woods, and hasn’t been seen since. The local hunting club, called Kuma Rangers (“Bear Rangers,” like they’re a tokusatsu team), has set up three capture cages in the forest, and is also patrolling the area.

Rumiko suffered several scratches to her face and required stitches on her nose, but all things considered got out of the incident with remarkably light injuries. The Sasakis say this is the first time a bear has appeared at their house, but between April and June of this year, 252 bear sightings were reported in Hiroshima Prefecture, about 50 more than in an average year. As a precaution, wildlife officials are recommending that those going into forest or mountain areas wear a bell, radio, or other noise-making apparatus to avoid startling bears and provoking a panicked, violent reaction. They’re also recommending not going into such areas unaccompanied, and we have to admit, after learning how tough Rumiko is, we’d definitely feel safer having her by our side if we were venturing into the wilderness.

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News/Nitele News 24, Home TV, Yahoo! Japan News/TV Shin Hiroshima, Yahoo! Japan News/Chugoku Hoso
Top image: Pakutaso
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