Boy, 7, Missing in Wilderness After Parents Leave Him There as a Punishment: Reports

The parents of Yamato Tanooka reportedly admitted to police that they left the boy in a bear-infested mountain range.

A desperate search for a 7-year-old boy has stretched into its third day after his parents reportedly left him in the Japanese wilderness as a punishment.

Yamato Tanooka was in the mountains of northern Japan with his parents Saturday when Hokkaido Prefectural Police say he was abandoned there to punish him for throwing stones at cars and people.

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Hours later, when it became apparent that Yamato was gone, the parents made an emergency call to police.

The boy has now been missing since Saturday in an area known for its wild bears, CNN reports.

The boy's father told local Japanese-language reporters that they initially hesitated to alert authorities to their son's disappearance because of the circumstances in which they left him.

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"I couldn't bring myself to make the request [for the search] and give the reason [for him being missing] as it is because of a punishment," he said.

Police said the parents first drove back to where they left the boy, but he wasn't there. 

Since then, some 150 search and rescue personnel have been searching for boy.

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