Attacks by wild monkeys in a Japanese city are on the rise, and people are worried

In recent weeks, dozens of people living in a city in southwestern Japan have been attacked by wild monkeys . With the report, the police are conducting searches.

At least 45 people are said to have been injured by Japanese monkeys in and around Yamaguchi since July 8. According to Yoshitaka Morishige, an official at the Yamaguchi Prefectural Government’s Department of Conservation.

Officials said the attack was the work of a wild monkey. Authorities now say one or more animals are responsible, but have yet to confirm.

The number of confirmed attacks has more than doubled in a week. The casualties went from kids to the older, Morishige said.

The victims were scratched on their arms and legs, and bitten on their necks and stomachs, but were not seriously injured, Yamaguchi City Hall official Masato Saito said. Monkeys of various sizes were reportedly seen.

Wild Monkeys

A monkey entered homes and a school through windows and sliding doors, causing several attacks. However, the residents have now ordered the entrances to be closed. Saito said people are being attacked again outside as well.

The attacks prompted police to set traps and step up patrols to catch the monkeys with nets. Officers resorted to stun guns on Sunday after the monkeys were unable to be apprehended.

Japan is very mountainous, and because monkeys live close to mountains, monkeys can easily access villages and towns,” said wildlife management expert Mieko Kiyono. Associate Professor at Kobe University.

Monkeys live in groups. Younger males often leave to live alone for a period of time. She added that the attacking monkey was most likely a single male.

The Yamaguchi official said such attacks are rare. “This is a very unusual event. They have never come into an urban area like this before, and they are assaulting these people,” Saito said.

These types of human-monkey conflicts have become more common over the years, Kiyono said, as research efforts have led to the resurgence of monkeys and the loss of their natural habitats.

“There are more and more monkeys in Japan. They come into houses and farms and destroy crops,” Kiyono said. “It has a plan to drive away the monkeys. For example, they can use fireworks to send them back into their habitats,” he said.

But these measures don’t always work, he said. As a result, monkeys can become aggressive towards humans. They won’t even be able to return to their native mountain areas. Monkeys that learn to respond to humans, among other things, become more and more monkeys that don’t fear humans,” she said.

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