【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. fend off / fɛnd ɔf / (v.) – to prevent someone or something from hurting oneself
Example: The police was able to fend off the suspect’s attacks.
2. maul / mɔl / (v.) – to attack and injure someone
Example: The man was mauled by a stray dog.
3. scurry / ˈskɜr i / (v.) – to run away quickly
Example: The tourists are watching several squirrels scurry across the road.
4. casualty / ˈkæʒ u əl ti / (n.) – someone who is injured because of an event
Example: There were no reported casualties in the house fire.
5. cub / kʌb / (n.) – the offspring of animals such as bears and lions
Example: The lioness is feeding its newborn cub with milk.
Read the text below.
A Japanese fisherman has fended off a bear using his karate skills to save his life.
While 63-year-old Atsushi Aoki was fishing in a creek at Japan’s Gunma mountains, a bear appeared from the nearby woodland and mauled him. The massive six-foot Asiatic black bear repeatedly scratched and bit Aoki in multiple parts of his body. Instead of retreating, Aoki used his expertise in karate to punch the bear’s eyes, forcing it to scurry back into the woods.
Despite his injuries, Aoki managed to drive himself to a hospital in the nearby town of Naganohara. He received treatment for bites and claw marks in his head, arm, and leg.
Since the start of 2016, there had been four separate cases of bear attack in Japan. The number marks a sudden rise in the average number of people injured by bears in the country. Previously, there were only eight victims of attacks between 1979 and 2015. Many of the recent victims encountered the bears while exploring the mountains.
This incident has prompted authorities to take action to prevent any further casualties. Officials have installed bear traps and caution signs around several areas. They have also advised people against going on a trip to the mountains to avoid bear attacks.
According to an interview by the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, experts said that people should be most wary of adult bears and female bears with cubs. Mother bears have a defensive reaction when a person comes too close to them or their young, while adult bears tend to attack when their habitat is disturbed or when their food source becomes scarce.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· What would you do if you were the fisherman? Explain your answer.
· Aside from the precautions taken by the officials, how can instances of bear attacks be prevented?
· Aside from the mountains, in what other places can animal attacks occur?
· Why do you think animals attack humans?