At least two women were dead after they were apparently attacked by bears that escaped from their cage at a park in northern Japan on Friday, local media reported.

One employee in her 70s was killed when she was mauled by a bear while another in her 60s was found dead after going missing for several hours, broadcaster NHK reported.

The park in Akita prefecture keeps 38 bears, at least five of which had reportedly fled their enclosures. A total of six bears were shot dead by local hunters, NHK said. - Sapa-dpa