crime

5 youths ordered to apologize to monkeys, clean pen for throwing fireworks

59 Comments

Five youths have apologized to the director of Kyoto Zoo after admitting to breaking into the premises early one morning in January and throwing fireworks at the zoo's monkeys.

As part of their punishment, the five were ordered to apologize to the monkeys and clean their enclosure, according to a Fuji TV report.

Police say the group, all 18 years of age, consisted of high school students, construction workers and beauticians. According to police, the group had been drinking alcohol before they illegally entered the zoo on Jan 3 and threw lit fireworks into the monkey enclosure, Fuji reported.

CCTV camera footage showed them entering the zoo by scaling a wall at around 6:20 a.m. They then proceeded to terrorize the 26 monkeys for around 15 minutes. Zoo keepers reported that one animal sustained a burn to its face.

After police made the video footage public, the youths turned themselves in, Fuji reported. Police said they will likely press charges for breach of property damage and animal cruelty laws.

At the time of the incident, the director of Kyoto Zoo, Toshikuni Nihonmatsu, said the zoo discourages visitors from throwing anything into the enclosure, even food, due to the danger that the animals will lose trust in people, Fuji reported. "What was done to the monkeys was incredibly cruel," he said.

The accused were taken to Kyoto Zoo on Feb 10, where they bowed and apologized to zoo staff, including Nihonmatsu. They were then told to bow and apologize to the monkeys, Fuji reported. They also cleaned the monkeys' enclosure for around an hour as punishment.

Nihonmatsu told the group that he wanted them to understand how the monkeys must have felt and reflect on what they had done. He added that he wanted them to go on and be productive members of society, Fuji TV reported.

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59 Comments
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If he wanted them to understand how the monkeys must have felt he should have locked them in an enclosure and had the monkeys hurl lit fireworks at them.

But fair dues to them for actually turning themselves in. Or were they just worried someone else would and then the punishment would be harsher?

Glad the police are prosecuting too. They shouldnt get away with just an hour of community service.

7 ( +11 / -6 )

The monkeys got the last laugh.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"They were then told to bow and apologize to the monkeys" classic...best line of the week. Only in Japan.

18 ( +17 / -0 )

Good for the zoo director. I have to say, as punishments go, that's a pretty good one - and not pointless or laughable. These ignorant little sods should know that they can't treat any other creatures cruelly.

And the only reason they turned themselves in is cos any punishment they get will take that into account and be more lenient. I doubt egret has anything to do with it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nicky, there's things that monkeys can fling that are much more potent than fireworks.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Apologize to the monkeys, which ones the ones in the cage or the ones in charge of the zoo?

Should made them stay in the monkey's cage over night.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

They should have been ordered swap places with the monkeys for a day. The judge missed an obvious sentence.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A very unfair punishment. how many kids would kill for the chance to help out and clean monkey pens? Many. I know I would have as a child. They are being rewarded for what they've done. Did anyone see the monkey that got burned on TV? Heartbreaking. The poor thing has a black nose.

How can anyone purposely harm an animal? Horrific and cowards. I second Nicky's suggestion - my husband and I said the same thing. Put THEM in the monkey house and let people throw fireworks at them. Isn't animal torture a sign of someone with serious mental issues? Release their names and pictures.

6 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't think it was necessary to have them clean the monkey's enclosure, that is a paid job for payed stuff. Getting them to apologize to the monkeys is totally absurd, premeditated revengeful humiliation. Similarly insane as the criminals' action.

Both are totally useless, it only makes those people similarly revengeful and teaches them to retaliate with the same cruel thing for everything.

Apologizing to the zoo director, to the staff is proper. Having them to clean the enclosures is only fair ion voluntarily base and as a part time summer job, payed the same way as the normal employees.

What I think could be a proper and sane reaction is:

A., Make them pay for the extra cleaning and the medical treatment for the animals they have harmed plus for the trespassing.

B., Undergo a obligatory full medical and psychological evaluation on their own cost.

C., If they have no money to pay for the damage and their medical evaluation, then assign them to any summer job they are willing to do. If they agree even enclosure cleaning. For fair payment of course.

D., If the evaluation is favorable, as a rehabilitation, for normal salary, offer them an animal attendant and care job at the zoo. It might help them to get love and build understanding and respect for others' life, human or animals.

E., If the evaluation is unfavorable, put them under police surveillance for years until a repeated medical evaluation will report they are harmless. That would be; checking in at the nearest police station every day at 7 or 8 in the morning. After finishing work or school, check in again, latest time ten a clock again and submit a short report on what they did all day specifically in their free time. That sometimes should be checked by the police at random. Certainly even this on their own cost.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I thought after reading the headline they had to apologize to the diet.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I want so bad to see a video of this apology.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cricky - Har!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

underage drinking, breaking and entering, interferring with a business and, last, injurying defenseless animals. one hour of cleaning cages. sounds fair - NOT. hope they are truly prosecuted but probably not. that`s the wa, i mean way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Getting them to apologize to the monkeys is totally absurd, premeditated revengeful humiliation.

And, I imagine, very effective. They should of course also have to pay for the damage done and medical treatment for the injured animal, and go through psychiatric tests to make sure they aren't the kind of sick animal-abusers who go on to hurt humans. Until they are tested and pronounced sane, they should not be allowed anywhere near any animal. Job as an animal attendant - no way.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wow! Asked to apologize to monkeys? Seriously? They are lucky the judge has a sense of humor! In Australia they would have been charged with trespassing, breaking and entering, animal cruelty and possessing fireworks and, would have been charged as adults cos they are over 18. They would have had thousands of dollars in fines and possibly some time in the pen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"They are lucky the judge has a sense of humor!"

The judge likely has no sense of humor whatsoever. He was perfectly serious in handing out this sentence. These boys need to be humiliated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nicky, there's things that monkeys can fling that are much more potent than fireworks

Right on Michelle! Now THAT is a video I would like to see!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

That stuff doesn't hurt though - getting hit in the face with a firework would. I still have that image of that poor burned monkey face in my head.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Getting them to apologize to the monkeys is totally absurd, premeditated revengeful humiliation. Similarly insane as the criminals' action.

No, not really. It forced them to see the monkeys as living , breathing creatures, and not toys.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

... he should have locked them in an enclosure and had the monkeys hurl lit fireworks at them.

Better, the monkeys would have thrown at them what - at least the great apes - through at those who annoy them.

You all know what that is, and that is all these kids deserve.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't know if it would have helped in this case but having been brought up with domestic animals all my life, there's NO WAY I could ever dream of hurting them... From my mother's dog (when I was born) to my father's canary, my older brother's German Shepherd to my younger brother's Jack Russel, my own Black and Tan terrier, our pet rabbits etc... really taught us the meaning of life. As others have remarked - it starts with small defenceless animals and ends up with killing human beings.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Munyatimes...

Why offer them a job? They deserve nothing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@the-grouch

Munyatimes... Why offer them a job? They deserve nothing.

So that they can earn money to pay the check through hard work and not milking their parents.

@cleo

1......Getting them to apologize to the monkeys is totally absurd, premeditated revengeful humiliation.

2......And, I imagine, very effective.

To make them hate monkeys and animals more and pay back for the humiliation that they will not forget for decades. Never humiliate anybody, humans or animals, they will never forget and will haunt you. There must be other ways to get satisfaction and make changes.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Monkeys are of course pretty smart. Perhaps they can tell what an apology is when someone bows in front of them....Who knows? Monkeys probably apologize to one another like this, too (when they eat a friend's banana by mistake etc.).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do them a favor and help them grow up. Hit them with big financial damages. It's the only thing that they'll remember and learn from. Anything else can be laughed off.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Complete respect for Nihonmatsu -- and he was able to teach the boys to learn through taking responsibilities for their actions instead of simply punishing them with something that would probably not have helped. I doubt we'll be hearing about any more wrong doing from these boys. I would not be surprised to hear in the future they go back once in a while and try to do some good to further right their wrongs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Make them wear monkey suits, throw them in the enclosure, and then drop the banana in the shower. That'll teach them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Apologies to the monkeys??

Sure the monkeys appreciate it! Justice is is done, in a bizarre way

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

that is absurd monkeys don't understand appreciation

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I've always believed that the most dangerous element in Japan were the beauticians

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If they had used spears instead of fireworks, they could have said it was part of their tradition and gotten away with it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

" ordered to apologize to monkeys, clean pen for throwing fireworks

Five youths have apologized to the director of Kyoto Zoo "

............................................

The headline is so funny. Good for the zoo director to get a free house cleaning too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haha - too funny. Kids will be kids and Japan still does a good job at teaching "respect." Kids apologizing to monkey ain't ever gonna happen in the United States. BTW, the monkeys will be fine just keep on feeding them bananas and keeps their grounds clean.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"apologize to the monkeys" "oooo ooo eee ah ah"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It would be nice if the exhibit was open while they were cleaning it so people could come by and take pictures. Go with flow...while you are in the cage have your buddy sit in front of you and pick the bugs out of their hair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Monkeys. say no more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is wrong with the children's parents? Have they show their love to their children. I can see why the children abuse the animals at the zoo. Children do not know enough to be mature. I believed that the children's parents have problems. Someone needs to check out with their parents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Construction workers and beauticians eh? Not too bright. Hope they learned something in school, like how to push a broom. I say to hell with Munya! Humiliate the crap out of them. And if they want to avenge themselves, well then you humiliate them even more the next time until they learn that there are certain ways to behave. Ya don't reward a bad monkey, you punish them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Should I feel bad for laughing while reading this article?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess Japan doesn't have a law about unusual punishment.

I wonder if they were tortured to admission. there's still no proof that they did it.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Please note that they turned themselves in.

Meddling kids!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ahh slap on their wrists and they would think they could do that again in another zoo. or others would think they should do it at perhaps a tiger cage. they are trespassing a zoo. and many of the animal has to be acquired from other parts of the world, I think. and that cost money. the least they should make them do would be paying for the medical cost to treat the poor animal and the damages

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

BTW, the monkeys will be fine Guess you didn't see the one that will have scars from the burns these brats caused.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Im glad that Nihonmatsu has a heart. He took into consideration the age & maturity of the kids as well as the fact that probably they did not have any vandalism record. Im glad he was forgiving & just wanted the kids to realize what they did to another living being & to learn a lesson from it so they could move on and have productive lives. In many Western countries, ppl would be saying "throw them in jail" or "put them in a cage & throw fireworks in their faces" which would do nothing to encourage them to be better ppl, but a humbling yet compassionate punishment like this may be just what they need to better themselves as humans. However, I must say apologizing to a monkey must be more for the kids than for the monkeys. I don`t think monkeys understand "gomenasai".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In many Western countries, ppl would be saying "throw them in jail" or "put them in a cage & throw fireworks in their faces" which would do nothing to encourage them to be better ppl, but a humbling yet compassionate punishment like this

In "many western countries" people take a dim view of animal abuse and torture. There are actually laws in many western countries against animal abuse, unlike here. Not saying incidents do not occur everywhere - however the stupidity of apologising to an animal for abusing it is a pathetic joke - more than likely the judge had no more strict punishment he could impose. These disgusting, drunken thugs have no hope in life - they are destined to remain the dropkicks they are. Just hope the poor monkeys will fully recover.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

BurakuminDes, do you not think that Nihonmatsu does not take a dim view on animal abuse either? I think he demonstrated that he cares very much for the well being of both animals and humans, and he made an effort to close a gap of misunderstanding between the two. If he had treated these youth with contempt as though they are worthless, thugs who will never amount to anything, it is very possible that he could have helped pave a way for this exact outcome, but instead he took the higher ground and looked at them as redeemable people who could make contributions to society and learn the value of life in animals. Because he demonstrated to them kindness and mercy, we hope it will inspire them to be better people and someday they can return the favor to someone else who needs forgiveness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese turn themselves in from the gnawing of their own won now guilt complexes, agen! kudos to the youths for being a little bit rebellious, but their pwn stupidity and inhumane nature cause them to express it in the wlong way.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

now! apologize to those monkeys! (笑)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I so want to see a video of this apology.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not enough in my opinion. They should have to clean the cages every weekend for a month

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese turn themselves in from the gnawing of their own won now guilt complexes, agen! kudos to the youths for being a little bit rebellious, but their pwn stupidity and inhumane nature cause them to express it in the wlong way.

Kudos to abusing innocent animals? Seriously? be rebellious by all means by leave innocent people and creatures out of this.

And no, I doubt it was their guilt. People who confess get a more lenient punishment than those who are found. So you're giving kudos to a bunch of brats who know how to play the system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They also cleaned the monkeys’ enclosure for around an hour as punishment

How about making them clean it everyday for a year???????

They were then told to bow and apologize to the monkeys

only in japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any word on whether the monkeys accepted their apologies or not?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

noirgaijin - Har!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

serves them right for monkeying around!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

he made an effort to close a gap of misunderstanding between the two

There was a "misunderstanding" between the drunk youths and monkeys? Really? Throwing firecrackers and burning a poor monkey's face is a "misunderstanding"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wanna see the follow up, did the monkeys accept their apologies? I'm sure they would have something to say about the feral youth of today....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Five little teenagers jumping on the bed, one fell down and broke his head, the monkeys called the police and the police then said: "no more teenagers jumping on the bed!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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