Hide your kids, hide your wife ’cause the monkeys are snatching everybody up in Japan. Since July 8, there have been 58 monkey attacks against residents in the small city of Yamaguchi, as reported by The Washington Post. The outlet says the primates are “trying to snatch babies, biting and clawing at flesh, and sneaking into nursery schools.”
The monkey mayhem has gotten so out of control that the city hired a special unit to patrol the area with tranquilizer guns. It isn’t immediately clear what prompted the attacks, but according to sources, the furry animals aren’t seeking food from residents. The monkeys are targeting kids and the elderly. On Wednesday (July 27), city official Masato Saito said, “They are so smart, and they tend to sneak up and attack from behind, often grabbing at your legs.”
In a video currently circulating online and broadcasted at news stations, a rather large primate is seen looking inside a home. The monkey stands with one hand on the door as it gazes inside the house. Saito warned residents to remain vigilant and take precautions if they see the animals near them. The official says anyone who comes in contact with the primates should avoid making eye contact or sudden moves. He added that you can use clothing like a jacket to make yourself look bigger than the monkey.
The animals have been identified as Japanese macaques. While normally seen bathing in hot springs or taking pictures with tourists, these primates seem to have had it with people. A woman was reportedly assaulted by one of the monkeys as she hung laundry on her veranda. Another person suffered from injuries to their foot, according to The Washington Post. In some instances, ambulances have been called. The primates are typically just under two feet tall and weigh around 25 pounds.
The outlet adds that although there is occasionally a bear or wild boar attack, until now, the monkeys were generally friendly. “I have never seen anything like this my entire life,” Saito said.