At least 40 people have been injured in Yamaguchi prefecture, southwestern Japan, after a violent attack by a group of wild monkeys in recent weeks, according to a local government spokesman.
The victims, including children, have been attacked since the last day of July and suffered bites and scratches, according to the spokesman, who also said that local authorities are constantly patrolling the area.
“At first, only children and women were attacked. Recently, older people and adult men have also been targeted,” the official said.
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The wave of primate violence does not exclude homes where, according to police, a monkey bit a teenage girl in the leg, then escaped, but returned by breaking the window. In addition, the animal attacked the young woman’s mother in the leg.
In parallel, another woman who was close to the place was attacked by a monkey; she bit his leg and ran away from her when she threatened him with an umbrella, according to police reports.
Also, that same day and in the same area, two men and two women were victims of attacks.
The local police, due to the increase in aggressions that have been accumulating, have begun to use tranquilizer darts to capture the animals.
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“The entire city of Yamaguchi is surrounded by mountains and it is not uncommon to see monkeys,” said an official from the city’s agriculture department, “but it is rare to see so many attacks in a short period of time,” he said.
The first reported attack occurred on July 8, in the Ogori district of Yamaguchi city, when a monkey tried to drag a baby out of a window, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. The mother said her son’s screams alerted her, so he went to chase him away.
“It seemed that he was trying to drag her outside,” the mother told local media, and assured that he had grabbed her legs while she was playing on the ground.
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