Authorities said Tuesday that 23 people have been injured since Sunday by monkeys, believed to be Japanese macaques, appeared in residential areas on the outskirts of Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The monkeys bit and scratched a number of local residents. According to city authorities, there have been a number of eyewitness reports of monkeys raiding homes in search of food throughout the last two months.
On Monday morning, a housewife was bitten on the leg after a monkey opened the screen door and entered her kitchen. On Tuesday, an 80-year-old woman was attacked from behind on the porch of her house and a first-grade school girl was also injured after she was scratched by a monkey that had entered her home.
Residents say the domestic incursions are usually performed by a single, male monkey, but that they have witnessed cases in which two other monkeys stand guard outside.
The local government is cooperating with the police and fire departments to prepare traps and perform searches in an attempt to catch the simian assailants as soon as possible. City authorities are also appealing to residents to firmly lock their windows.© News reports