RESCUERS fear time is running out for a seven-year-old Japanese boy missing since his parents abandoned him in a bear-infested forest.

It has been reported Yamato Tanooka has been missing since Saturday in the mountains of Japan’s north island of Hokkaido after his parents kicked him out of their car on a mountain road as punishment for misbehaving.


Image from Japan Today
Image from Japan Today


“The crucial 72 hours’ limit for the survival has passed,” rescue team spokesman Satoshi Saito told reporters. “The outlook could be severe … but we can do nothing but continue looking with a hope in mind.”

Yamato’s father Takayuki Tanooka told television reporters he did not dare admit the truth when he first requested the search.

“We have done an unforgivable thing to our child, and we have caused a lot of trouble for everyone,” he said. “I just hope he is safe.”

Yamato’s parents admitted they were angry and tried to punish him because he had thrown stones at cars and people.

Yamato was only wearing light clothing — a black jacket, navy blue pants and red sneakers when he disappeared. He had no food or water.

Two hunters joined the rescue team of more than 100 people after discovery of what was thought to be fresh bear droppings in the search area, but they said it came from smaller animals.

The parents said they abandoned Yamato on a road, bounded on both sides by thick mountain forests, but quickly returned only to find him missing.

Police have said they are considering filing neglect charges against his parents, according to Kyodo News.

We hope he is found safe very soon!

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  • Gosh, that really is a different way of punishing a child – have never heard of that way before. Poor boy, hope he is found well, safe & sound and his parents learn from this


  • Oh, by the way, he had access to water. He hid in a military camp where he could drink water from the tap. Poor child. It astonishes me that he didn’t even shed a tear when they found him. I would have been so scared in his place!

    • Goodness, what a resourceful little boy. I wonder if he was in shock as to the no crying?


  • They have found him alive. Luckily! After 6 days without water. Poor little one. I’m glad he’s safe!


  • Well that was a massive error in judgement.
    This poor little kid. I wonder if he was panicked when his parents drove off that he just started running wildly in a panic. If he is not found or if the worst happens and they find his body then imagine that the last thoughts he had of his parents were that they didnt love him anymore because he was misbehaving. What a horrible thing to do to a child.


  • The parent’s are to blame for the missing boy,hope they find him safe and well.


  • He was only seven. What were these parents thinking? A rash decision they made may have lifetime consequences. I hope they find the little boy safe.


  • He was only seven. What were these parents thinking? A rash decision they made may have lifetime consequences.


  • A threat most parents have made… But not many carry out. Wisely.


  • What a terrible way to punish a child. I hope they will find him still alive.
    I can’t believe that someone would do such a thing.


  • Omg. Yes the parents should be charged. Hopefully a family that cares has taken him in.I hope he is found safe


  • Hope they find him safe and soon. What were these parents thinking.


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