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Would it be wrong to use 亡くす in the following sentence? (The wwwjdic lists 亡くす as a transitive verb.)

去年【きょねん】とても多【おお】かった熊【くま】の被害【ひがい】 どうやってなくすか国【くに】も考【かんが】える

The number of bear attacks was very high last year, and the government is thinking about how to eliminate them.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10014300391000/k10014300391000.html

なくす 《無くす[P]; 失くす[iK]》 (v5s,vt) (1) (uk) to lose (something); (v5s,vt) (2) (uk) to get rid of; to eliminate; to remove; to eradicate; to abolish

亡くす 【なくす】 (v5s,vt) to lose (through death; e.g. a wife, child)

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    Yes, but it gives the context of when 亡くす would be used there. (I deleted a previous comment asking if there was a reason for thinking it would be 亡くす). Are you just asking for confirmation of the provided usage note?
    – Leebo
    Jan 10 at 6:20

1 Answer 1

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Yes it's wrong to use 亡くす here. 亡くす as a transitive verb only means "to lose (someone's life)", such as in:

10年前に父を亡くしました。
I lost my father 10 years ago.

In your sentence, however, the object of the verb is 熊の被害, which is not a human. In the context of actively getting rid of something, the correct kanji choice is 無くす (although it's usually written in hiragana). The kanji 失くす is rare, and it's only used when losing something you need (e.g., a wallet).

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  • Thank you! This answer was exactly the information I needed.
    – Ned Reif
    Jan 10 at 15:35

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