People in a south-western Japanese city have come under attack from monkeys that are trying to snatch babies, biting and clawing at flesh, and sneaking into nursery schools.
The attacks – on 58 people since July 8 – are getting so bad that Yamaguchi city hall has hired a special unit to hunt the animals with tranquiliser guns.
The monkeys are not interested in food, so traps have not worked.
The animals have targeted mostly children and the elderly.
“They are so smart, and they tend to sneak up and attack from behind, often grabbing at your legs,” city official Masato Saito said.
When confronted by a monkey, the instructions are: do not look them in the eye, make yourself look as big as possible, such as by spreading open your coat, then back away as quietly as possible without making sudden moves, according to Saito.
A woman was assaulted by a monkey while hanging laundry on her veranda, while another victim showed bandaged toes.
They were taken aback and frightened by how big and fat the monkeys were.