Residents of the Japanese city terrorized macaques

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Japanese macaques in the small town of Yamaguchi first attacked children and women, but now they are not afraid to attack adult men. The police armed themselves with tranquilizer pistols to stop the aggression of wild animals.

42 people have already suffered from the paws and teeth of Japanese macaques, including children and the elderly. The population of Yamaguchi is less than 200 thousand people.

The attacks began a few weeks ago, and the police still do not understand whether the “crimes” are the work of one misanthropic monkey or an entire gang is operating in the city.

“It’s rare to see so many attacks in such a short period of time,” a city spokesman said. “Initially, only children and women were targeted. But more recently, elderly people and adult men have also been targeted.”


photo caption,Japanese macaques usually live in large groups of 10 to 100 individuals.

Injuries received by people ranged from scratches to bites on the legs, arms, neck and abdomen.

One of the victims was a four-year-old girl who was scratched by a monkey that entered the apartment. On another occasion, the father miraculously managed to protect his baby, bursting into the room at the moment when a monkey was bending over the screaming children.

Access to Japanese homes for monkeys is greatly simplified by open windows and traditional sliding screen doors through which it is easy to get inside.

Attempts to catch the animals with traps ended in failure, and the police patrols that went out to guard the streets after the first attacks could not yet catch the monkeys.

Once an endangered species, the number of Japanese macaques has increased in recent years, thanks in part to the fact that they were under protection. They are now listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a species of least concern in terms of extinction.

Japanese macaques are relatively small animals. The growth of males is 80-95 centimeters, on average they weigh about 13 kg, and females are shorter and weigh one and a half times less. They are the northernmost monkeys in the world, and their natural habitat is limited to the Japanese islands.

Scientists believe that conflicts between people and macaques were provoked both by an increase in the number of macaques, and too close proximity to people.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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