By MICHIYA OFUJI/ Staff Writer
July 31, 2022 at 14:51 JST
YAMAGUCHI--Wild monkeys have gone on the rampage in a residential area of this western Japan city, injuring mostly women and children in 66 incidents so far this month.
Some cases involved a monkey entering a home by opening a window or breaking a mosquito screen.
Two monkeys were captured and destroyed as local authorities determined they were responsible for the attacks, which occurred in the city's Ogori district between July 8 and July 28.
The first was caught on July 26 and the second on July 28.
Authorities are urging residents to remain alert after receiving reports of three sightings of another monkey in the neighborhood on July 29.
The two monkeys captured were both male and presumed to be around 4 years old, according to local officials. They each weighed about 7 kilograms and stood around 50 centimeters tall.
The first one was incapacitated with a tranquilizer dart fired by a wild animal specialist after it was spotted in the premises of the Yamaguchi Agricultural High School on the evening of July 26.
Late that night, a man in his 70s had his foot bitten while he was asleep after a monkey broke into his fourth-floor apartment through a window, prompting local officials to continue their efforts to locate the animal.
The second monkey was captured by an Indonesian man in his 20s and another occupant of a company dorm after the primate got in on the night of July 28.
The Indonesian man suffered light scratches to his right arm while tackling the animal, according to local officials.
As a precaution, city and police officials are calling on residents to lock up their homes, noting that many cases involved monkeys breaking in by opening a window or mosquito screen, or by simply destroying the latter.
Residents were also advised not to make eye contact with any monkey they come across because it would be viewed as challenging behavior by the animal.
Nine people were attacked in a single day. A woman in her 30s was attacked twice.
The city government set up traps and started daily foot patrols with employees armed with nets and clubs following reports of injuries, but to no avail.
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