Authorities have captured and killed a wild monkey that was identified as one of the Japanese macaques responsible for the spate of attacks on locals in Yamaguchi City, Japan.
The male macaque was caught and tranquilized on the grounds of a local high school by commissioned hunters on Tuesday evening.
The primate, which was estimated to have been 4 years old and nearly two feet tall, was later put down after its physical features were matched to prior descriptions and photos taken of a known aggressive macaque in the city.
The Japanese macaques, also known as snow monkeys, have terrorized and attacked locals in the the Ogori district of Yamaguchi City since July 8. Reported attacks include the rampaging monkeys invading homes and scratching or biting humans in the region. More than half of the attacks reportedly occurred to women in their 40s or older, while at least six attacks were on children under 10-years-old.
Although one macaque has been killed, reports of attacks reportedly continue.
“Eyewitnesses describe monkeys of different sizes, and even after the capture, we’ve been getting reports of new attacks,” a city official at the local agricultural department reportedly said.
Authorities noted the attacks have climbed to 58 people since July 8, as of Wednesday.
The city will continue their patrols to capture the monkeys, according to the officials. Residents are advised to keep their eyes on small children and to lock their doors and windows. The locals have also been told to avoid eye contact with the monkeys.
The Japanese macaques are a common sight on Yamaguchi island, but the spate of attacks is unusual in the region. The increase in population of what was once a vulnerable species has led to conflicts with humans, according to a study from Yamagata University. Changes in human behavior and changes in forest environments are cited as causes of serious conflicts.