A rouge troop of monkeys is terrorizing the Japanese town of Yamaguchi, leading the city hall to hire a special unit of animal catchers armed with tranquilizer guns on Wednesday.
According to the Associated Press, the animals have attacked 58 people since July 8, targeting mostly young children and elderly people. Some monkeys have even reportedly attempted to steal babies. Yamaguchi is a rural city in southwestern Japan, and monkey attacks have not been an issue there before.
“They are so smart, and they tend to sneak up and attack from behind, often grabbing at your legs,” city official Masato Saito told the Associated Press.
One of the monkeys struck at an elementary school, biting a 10-year-old boy on the arm and both hands, public broadcaster NHK reported.
In other attacks, a monkey bit a man drying laundry outside and a woman whose balcony screen door was open., according to the AP. The monkey also attacked two toddler brothers after climbing into their home through a window, NHK reported.
The special unit is tasked with singling out the most aggressive monkeys, tranquilizing them, and then putting them down.
It is unclear how large the troop of monkeys is. Saito says the city is instructing citizens not to look the monkeys in the eye if they come into contact with one.
He also recommends making yourself look as big as possible before backing away slowly.
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