Police in Japan are searching for a wild monkey that has attacked 10 people in the space of a fortnight.
The attacks began on 8 July in the Ogori district of Yamaguchi prefecture in the country’s south-west. In the most serious incident, it badly scratched an infant after invading a family home.
“I was vacuuming when I heard my child crying, so I turned around and saw the monkey had grabbed her by the legs while she was playing on the floor. It looked like it was trying to drag her outside,” the baby’s mother told local media.
Last weekend, the monkey opened the screen door of a first-floor apartment and scratched the leg of a four-year-old girl, leaving her with minor injuries, before attacking other people nearby, according to the Kyodo news agency.
The monkey, said to be 40-50cm in height, also invaded a local kindergarten classroom and scratched a four-year-old girl.
Local police are reportedly on high alert. They have set traps for the animal and warned people not to leave their windows open. The local mayor’s office has distributed flyers telling local residents to be on the lookout, but as of Tuesday, the animal was still on the loose.
The public broadcaster NHK said there had been about 40 monkey sightings in the area since May.