Boy Goes Missing After Parents Leave Him In Bear Infested Forest As Punishment

A 7-year-old Japanese boy has been missing for two days after being left in a forest by his parents as a punishment. The parents of Yamato Tanooka say they left him behind in the woods for five minutes over an incident where he threw stones at cars earlier in the day. When they returned to the spot where they had last seen him, he was gone.

It all went down near a town called Nanae on the northern island of Hokkaido, which unfortunately for young Yamato is also the home of the Ussuri brown bear. Visitors to the forest have been mauled by bears in the past, making the search for the missing boy all the more concerning.

Over 150 people are currently searching for the boy, who has been missing since May 28. Originally, the parents told authorities that Yamato had gotten lost while the family was picking wild vegetables, but eventually came clean about the circumstances of his disappearance.

“I regret what I did to my child,” the father said in a statement, claiming he only lied to make sure a search party would still be sent. Police have yet to decide if the parents will be charged with child abandonment or other charges.

(via Reuters)