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Bear is shot dead after injuring four people while rampaging through Japanese city

A brown bear was shot dead today after injuring four people while rampaging through a Japanese city and attacking soldiers at a barracks.

Dramatic footage showed the bear bounding down busy streets in Sapporo before it darted across a main road and started clawing at the gates of the barracks where it knocked a soldier to the ground as other troops fled in terror. 

Schools were shut and flights were cancelled at the regional airport as a team of hunters were deployed alongside police to track the animal down.

City officials later tweeted that the beast had been 'exterminated' - shot by the hunters. 

The brown bear is seen bounding down on a residential street in front of a car in Sapporo on Friday

The animal appears to bundle a soldier to the ground after entering a nearby barracks - at least one solider was among the four people wounded by the bear

The brown bear on the loose in Sapporo, on Japan's northern island Hokkaido 

Members of the hunting squad train their rifles towards the wilderness as they remained vigilant after the bear was shot

One soldier was injured in the bear's rampage in the city, which will host the Olympic marathon and race-walking events in August. 

Another victim was mauled by the bear after it attacked him from behind, TV footage showed. The person was taken away on a stretcher. 

Earlier, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told people in the Hokkaido region to be on alert.

'A total of four people, including one Self-Defense Forces member, have been attacked and injured by the brown bear. We express our sincere sympathy to them,' he said.

'Officials from Sapporo City, the Hokkaido police, a local hunting association and other concerned agencies have arrived at the scene. They are coordinating efforts to capture the brown bear, or if deemed necessary, exterminate it.'

The bear is seen clawing at the gates of the army barracks, causing alarmed troops to scatter in terror

The bear stands on its hindquarters on a pavement after sprinting over a road 

The bear rushes down a residential street followed by a car 

Hunters (orange hats) along with members of the police search for the brown bear before it was killed

One of the victims was in their 40s, one in their 70s and another in their 80s, according to NHK, which did not give details of the fourth.

Asian black bears are native to large parts of Japan, including the country's main island, while brown bears roam Hokkaido further north.

The Japan Bear and Forest Society has warned that forest-dwelling bears are being spotted in greater numbers in areas inhabited by humans as they search for food.

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