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Rescuers Search For Boy Left In Woods As Punishment

The search for a 7-year-old boy left by his parents in a remote, mountainous area in Japan as a punishment continues.

Yamato Tanooka was with his parents and older sister on May 28 when he was scolded for throwing stones at cars, according to the Daily Mail.

“The parents left the boy in the mountains as punishment,” a police spokesman said, according to The Japan Times.

Initially, Yamato's parents said he got lost while they were looking for wild vegetables, but the father later admitted what really happened.

“I wanted to discipline him, so made him get out of the car to scare him a bit,” his father told a Sankei newspaper, according to BBC. "He's an active, lively boy, but I'm worried how he's doing."

The couple said they only drove a short distance away before returning minutes later.

“They said they went back to the site immediately, but the boy was no longer there," the police spokesman added.

“I feel very sorry for my child,” the father said, according to the Daily Mail. “I am so sorry for causing trouble for many people.”

Some 180 people are looking to rescue the boy and the search area was widened on May 30. Authorities mobilized detection dogs and horses in an effort to search deeper into the woods.

Many are concerned about how the boy will survive without food or water, and also how he will fare in a forested area home to wild bears. 

“Not many people or cars pass by, and it gets totally dark as there are no lights,” said Mitsuru Wakayama, a spokesperson for the nearby town of Nanae.

“It's not surprising to encounter bears anywhere in the area,” Wakayama added.

Authorities are considering filing charges against Yamato's parents for child abandonment.

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC, The Japan Times / Photo credit: Inquisitr

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