Politics

Gang of Monkeys Terrorizes Japanese City and Attacks Dozens of People


  • A macaque was euthanized on Tuesday in the city of Yamaguchi, western Japan, per reports.
  • The macaque is part of a gang of monkeys that have been terrorizing the city since early July.
  • At least 58 people have been injured by monkeys in recent weeks, according to The Associated Press.

Officials in Japan have put down a monkey they say was part of a gang of macaques terrorizing the city of Yamaguchi for weeks, according to reports.

The Japanese macaque, which is sometimes referred to as a snow monkey, was euthanized on Tuesday after specially commissioned hunters used a tranquilizer gun to sedate and caught it, The Guardian reported.

The monkey, believed to be four years old, was identified as responsible for at least one of the many attacks that plagued the southwestern Japanese city since the start of July, according to The Guardian.

An official at the local agricultural department told AFP that the rest of the gang of macaques are still at large and are continuing to wreak havoc in the mountainous city, 80 miles from Hiroshima in western Japan.

“Eyewitnesses describe monkeys of different sizes, and even after the capture, we’ve been getting reports of new attacks,” the official told AFP.

A spokesperson from Yamaguchi’s nature maintenance division declined to comment when contacted by Insider.

A Japanese macaque grooms another

A Japanese macaque grooms another.

Kiichiro Sato/AP


At least 58 people have been injured in the attacks by Japanese macaques in recent weeks, according to The Associated Press. No one has been seriously injured, but those affected have been advised to get treated at a hospital, the news agency reported.

Injuries have included scratches on hands and legs and bites on necks and stomachs, according to CNN.

The victims of the monkey attacks range from small children to seniors, said Yoshitaka Morishige, an official from the Yamaguchi prefectural government’s conservation department, per CNN.

In one attack, a four-year-old child was targeted by a monkey on the grounds of a Yamaguchi kindergarten, The New York Times reported. The kindergarten’s vice-principal, Yasuko Sanada, said the macaques have since taken over the playground.

“We received a warning from the police this morning, so we have stopped letting children play outside,” said Sanada, per The Times.

There are also reports that the monkeys have been trying to snatch babies, AP said. One baby girl was injured in her home, the newspaper reported.

According to Sky News, a woman was attacked while hanging up laundry outside her house.

The monkeys have been entering homes through windows and sliding doors, CNN reported. Residents of Yamaguchi are being encouraged to keep these entry points closed.

Police have put out traps and started patrols with nets and tranquilizer guns, but only one monkey has been captured.

Masato Saito, a Yamaguchi city official, said that it’s uncertain how many monkeys are taking part in the attacks and described recent events as a “very unusual” occurrence, per CNN.

“They have never come into an urban area like this before and assaulted this many people,” Saito said.



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