A pet dog was hailed a hero after saving a five-year-old boy from being mauled by a wild bear Saturday in northern Japan.
The six-year-old Shiba Inu named Mego, or Cute, was strolling with a young boy and his grandfather on a riverside walk when a bear attacked the boy. The dog barked “unusually loud” and chased the animal off.
The boy’s 80-year-old grandfather, who was close to his car, set the vehicle’s alarm off to further scare the bear away.
“Mego is usually calm and timid. It was a great surprise that she chased away a bear,” the dog’s owner said. “Mego has always been [the boy’s] friend and we have rewarded her with meat and other treats.”
The boy’s clothes were torn, his back and bottom were covered in scratches and he suffered minor bruises. He was taken to the hospital and released on the same day.
Asian black bears are native to many parts of Japan, while brown bears generally roam only in the north, as in Odate where the incident occurred.