Photo: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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Japanese monkey-hunting team shoots woman with tranquilizer dart

48 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On Monday afternoon, residents of Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, reported seeing a monkey that had wandered into the area near Fujikawa Station. In response, city hall dispatched three municipal employees and one contracted specialist, armed with tranquilizer rifles, to subdue the animal.

The four monkey hunters arrived at the station shortly before 3 p.m. and summoned a woman who had seen the monkey so that she could supply them with more information. It seems that her report was cut short, though, because while she was still at the scene she herself was shot by a tranquilizer dart, causing her to lose consciousness.

▼ The type of dart she was shot with is roughly 150 millimeters in length with a 30-millimeter tip.

And no, the monkey hadn’t managed to procure weaponry of its own and launch a counter-offensive. The dart, which lodged itself in the woman’s left arm, came from one of the human hunters’ rifles. City officials say that while the woman was at the scene, the hunters were taping the barrels of their rifles, to prevent air leakage, and in the process one of them inadvertently pulled on the trigger of his weapon, discharging it.

The woman was taken to the hospital, where she regained consciousness roughly an hour later, but it wasn’t until another hour after that that she was lucid enough to properly communicate (the dart had contained a tranquilizer dose sized to subdue a 15-kilogram monkey). Thankfully, she suffered no injuries and was discharged that same day, but the incident still seems more like something you’d expect from a sketch comedy act than an official animal control operation, and has produced reactions on Twitter such as:

“So slapstick comedy scenarios like this can actually happen in real life…I bet the monkey is laughing at the humans’ dumb mistake.”

“Can’t help laughing at this.”

“Good thing it wasn’t a bear-sized tranquilizer dose. Things would have turned out a lot worse.”

“Really a rookie mistake on the weapon handlers’ parts.”

The last commenter makes a good point. Doing any necessary maintenance work on the rifle before loading it with ammunition seems like a no-brainer, and one of the first rules of gun safety is to never point one at something you’re not OK shooting, regardless of whether it’s loaded or not.

In light of what happened, some may question whether the city really needed to send a team to capture the monkey in the first place. However, despite their penchant for taking relaxing soaks in mountain hot springs, Japan’s monkeys aren’t always so peaceful in nature. This summer, for instance, more than 60 people have been attacked by monkeys in Yamaguchi City, with some victims being asleep in their beds inside their homes when the monkeys began clawing and biting them. Fuji City has had several monkey sittings over the past month in parts of the city where the animals don’t ordinarily dwell, including along streets used by schoolchildren heading to Fujikawa Station as part of their commute, which has also prompted the dispatch of adult monitors keeping watch for the creatures during the morning and afternoon hours.

The Fuji City government has issued an apology to the woman and pledged an investigation and policy review to prevent accidental discharges from happening again. Meanwhile, the monkey remains at large, and hopefully any further teams sent to capture it will be made up of different members.

Sources: NHK News Web via Hachima Kiko, Jiji, FNN Prime Online, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Monkeys have attacked more than 60 people in three weeks in one Japanese town

-- Please do not feed the monkey running wild around Tokyo, authorities ask【Videos】

-- Man arrested in Japan after walking around supermarket in a monkey mask

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
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There are many kinds of mistakes one can make when handing any kind of weapon, But "I accidentally pulled the trigger" ?? Why was a finger even inside the trigger guard? Somebody needs to lose their job.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Scratch my post above. They didn't use real Tanquilizer Guns. Just an odd gas canister frelease system with no guard over the "trigger" mechnism. I suppose maybe this probably does't even get legally registered as an air/gas powered "gun".

4 ( +8 / -4 )

city hall dispatched three municipal employees and one contracted specialist,

So who was it? Municipal employees are they just given this responsibility or do they volunteer? What training do they get? If it was the contractor, loss of licence would seem appropriate. And it’s unusual the age of these people is not reported on.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I couldn't stop laughing at this

3 ( +10 / -7 )

At least they know the tranquillizer works now.....;)

oh dear!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

So, a so-called 'trained professionlal' was playing around with a loaded weapon and accidently shot a person. Luckily it wasn't a shotgun. I fail to see any humor in this. I hope she sues the pants off him and the clowns that assigned these mullets.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Another prime example of how safety standards are a complete joke in Japan and incompetence of so called specialists.

It wouldn't be funny if the dart took her eye out of if she fell over and was hurt or had an allergic reaction.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Sounds like something out of a National Lampoon's movie.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Your honor, the similarity was uncanny

4 ( +8 / -4 )

She'll be forever known in her village as 'the lady who looks like a monkey'.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

When I was a mere lad learning to handle weaponry, my drill instructor told us Only aim at what we intend to shoot (he actually said, kill). The ‘specialist’ contract hunter obviously didn’t learn that or his dart gun wouldn’t be pointed at anything but the ground; definitely not another human.

She’s lucky the incompetent ‘specialist’ wasn’t aiming at her eye, as Awa no Gaijin mentions.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Shouldn't laugh, but.....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They mistakenly shot a dart to the woman. She sleeps a little while but never dies. It seems no problem at all.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

"Never point your gun at another person unless you plan to use it." Rule #1.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I hope this woman sues the city, and someone loses their job.

She will not sue. That is a real mistaken shot. If the team apologize her, she will accept it. That is Japan, not America. If she died, her family would sue the city.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The dart, which lodged itself in the woman’s left arm, came from one of the human hunters’ rifles.

REALLY?!?! Wow! That is totally unexpected information. This writer should be up for the Pulitzer with this story

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It didn't even say if they captured the monkey or not LMAO!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sounds like something out of a National Lampoon's movie....

Your honor, the similarity was uncanny.

Yep, shouldnt laugh but it sure sounds funny..;)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If a city worker shot me, I would definitely hold my taxes for a year. Maybe the city worker should pay them for me. Seriously though, I question the competence of anyone who points a rifle (or any weapon) at another person, loaded or unloaded, ever. (unless, of course, he/she intends to shoot them.)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

DisillusionedToday  07:38 am JST

So, a so-called 'trained professionlal' was playing around with a loaded weapon and accidently shot a person.

borschtToday  08:39 am JST

The ‘specialist’ contract hunter obviously didn’t learn that or his dart gun wouldn’t be pointed at anything but the ground; definitely not another human.

She’s lucky the incompetent ‘specialist’ wasn’t aiming at her eye, as Awa no Gaijin mentions.

Where does the article mention whose weapon was accidentally fired?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It didn't even say if they captured the monkey or not LMAO!!

There is no news about it, it means that monkey is hanging around there. There are hundreds of monkeys here and there. If money attacked people, update news would come up again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Fuji City government has issued an apology to the woman and pledged an investigation and policy review to prevent accidental discharges from happening again.

Animal control specialist: shoots lady with tranquillizer

Lady: is unconscious and is taken to a hospital where she later wakes up and is discharged, potentially losing time for an appointment that she needed to attend to.

Fuji City: moushiwake gozaimasen

Lady: iie, sumimasen, arigatou gozaimasu

Ah Japan, so peaceful without conflict.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

We hear so often about these clowns discharging their weapons after proper precautions, and shooting each other or others in the process. It wasn't long ago a woman was shot in the neck by some old codger who fired at a crow that flew in front of houses. Stop allowing these "silver" groups to form their own posses and fire off weapons in public and hire actual professionals.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I hope she sues the pants off him and the clowns that assigned these mullets.

I hope she doesn't. Such lawsuits always punish the taxpayers who have to pay any claims, and do little to punish the actual people responsible.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Harry Gatto

 inadvertently pulled on the trigger 

I'm assuming you're be facetious assuming that it was deliberate a 'hunting specialist' shot a person instead of a monkey.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Harry Gatto, sorry. I read your original post incorrectly. You are correct, it doesn't say if it was the hunter or the city worker.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Harry -absolutely the article it doesn't say whether it was a woman or man that fired the dart

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On a positive note, given the competence of the "hunters ", the woman was lucky not to be removed from the city precincts and relocated in some distant forested area.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Soooo what happens to Mr. Sharp-shooter?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I fail to see any humor in this whatsoever. It was a serious case of negligence with a weapon and could potentially have been much worse. She could've lost an eye or even died from an allergic reaction. I hope she sues.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

in the process one of them inadvertently pulled on the trigger of his weapon, discharging it.

This doubtlessly venerable elder has no business being in charge of a weapon. Ownership of a weapon requires discipline and training, not just the coincidence of being born a long time ago and having nothing else to do with his time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A tranquilliser intended for a 15 kilo monkey knocked an adult woman (50~60 kilos?) out cold for an hour, and left her incoherent for another hour? What kind of effect would it have had on the monkey? A fatal dose?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

kwatt - She will not sue. That is a real mistaken shot. 

What is "a real mistaken shot"? These clowns were supposed to be trained professionals. There is no such thing as "a real mistaken shot". There is only carelessness, stupidity and liable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What kind of effect would it have had on the monkey? A fatal dose?

It may be a little fatal dose. It doesn't matter that monkey is dead or alive if monkeys injured people badly. Animal hunter can't use gun in the middle of town/city, so hunters shoot a little fatal dose darts to those monkeys.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

These clowns were supposed to be trained professionals

Not any more. Hunters used to be good expert. Most hunters are too old or not trained enough.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think the scene everyone is thinking of is from "Old School" when Frank (The Tank) Richard (Will Ferrell) shoots himself in the neck - the jugular, in fact - with a tranquilizer dart.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo,

A tranquilliser intended for a 15 kilo monkey knocked an adult woman (50~60 kilos?) out cold for an hour, and left her incoherent for another hour? What kind of effect would it have had on the monkey? A fatal dose?

That's a good observation. Perhaps the tranquiliser itself has a smaller effect on monkeys, or it penetrated the woman's skin further than it would have a monkey's and delivered a higher dose. Pure speculation, I have no idea.

kwatt,

I think the goal is to tranquilise and capture, rather than kill. I think monkeys in Japan are protected under the Wildlife Protection System and Hunting Law. Hunting them is definitely illegal. However, as you say, if the monkey is attacking and injuring people, killing it (accidentally) wouldn't pose too much of a dilemma. Again, I'm speculating.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Incompetent city workers? You don't say.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think the goal is to tranquilise and capture, rather than kill. I think monkeys in Japan are protected under the Wildlife Protection System and Hunting Law. Hunting them is definitely illegal. However, as you say, if the monkey is attacking and injuring people, killing it (accidentally) wouldn't pose too much of a dilemma. Again, I'm speculating.

Yes, monkeys, bears, deer are protected under the law. There is always exception. If those animals attacked and injured people badly, hunters can go there and cull/kill those animals sometimes to protect people's life after they got a permission.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

DisillusionedToday  11:48 am JST

These clowns were supposed to be trained professionals.

Only one clown was supposed to be a trained professional, a "specialist". The other three clowns were "municipal employees" which could mean anything but not trained professional.

"three municipal employees and one contracted specialist"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

My imagination has waned... I just don't see how the rifle gets pointed at the person supposedly telling you where the "threat" is....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, will the woman get some compensation for the authorities' obvious mistake or accident or does that only happen in the US?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Age please. In my area they are 70-80 years old.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

CrashTestDummy

So, will the woman get some compensation for the authorities' obvious mistake or accident or does that only happen in the US?

From what I gather, they are fairly litigious here, too. Or, at least the threat is always there, which often leads to settlements, albeit not nearly as big as in the US.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The woman was lucky, these things can kill a person depending on where it is lodged.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ok I work this out. It is rare to find a Japanese with a gun/hunting Licence, Plus how the law is structured it takes years to obtain. The monkey problem for councils have always been there and should have someone on there books to do the the job. Seeing Bear problems have long gone the council let these lecence hunters go decades ago. Where councils in Akita still have these hunters available. But they are very old and diving out. Those who do don't have the endurance anymore and the bear never captured. So council only way was to by-pass these laws and make a pneumatic system like those air cannon used at the baseball to shoot T shirts into the crowd I assume.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I could solve the feral monkey problem and, as a bonus, could dent the crow population if the govt. would allow me to use my Browning 12 gauge semi-auto for some selective hunting. A few kills would alert the monkeys to stay away from humans although the lack of proper monkey etiquette by humans seems to be the biggest problem. The crow problems could be controlled if the Japanese municipal guys would get serious and begin paying bounties on adult birds. There are a number of oldtimers out there that are deadly with slings.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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