Attack monkeys targeting children and the elderly are terrorizing a southwestern Japanese town. People in the area are mortified as the monkeys try to snatch babies, bite, claw at flesh, and sneak into nursery schools.
Since July 8, 58 people have been attacked. The assaults are so frequent that a special unit to hunt the animals with tranquilizer guns was employed by Yamaguchi city hall.
Traps have not worked on the dangerous animals because they are not interested in food. Mainly children and the elderly have been targeted.
“They are so smart, and they tend to sneak up and attack from behind, often grabbing at your legs,” city official Masato Saito said Wednesday.
According to Saito, when confronted by one of the monkeys, people are instructed not to look them in the eye, make themselves appear bigger, spread their coats, then back away without sudden moves.
While hanging laundry on her veranda, a woman was attacked by a monkey. Another victim displayed bandaged toes. They were scared of the monkey’s large size.
The Japanese Macaque is the breed of monkey frightening the community. Often, they are pictured lounging peacefully in Hot Springs.
The team caught, with a tranquilizer gun, on Tuesday, one male monkey, measuring 49 centimeters (1.6 feet) in height and weighing 7 kilograms (15 pounds). It was put to death after evidence determined the monkey was one of the attacking beasts.
After the animal was captured, more attacks were reported. The attacks have seriously injured no one, although victims have sought medical attention.
Why the attacks have occurred or where the animals come from remains unknown.
“I have never seen anything like this my entire life,” Saito said.
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