KITAKYUSHU -- A spate of monkey sightings have been reported in residential neighborhoods in this southwestern Japan city from Nov. 7 to 9, and a 5-year-old boy was injured after being bitten by a Japanese macaque in the area, according to police.
A total of 28 sightings were reported between Nov. 7 and 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 in Kitakyushu's Wakamatsu and Yahatanishi wards. Among the incidents was one at around 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 in Wakamatsu Ward, in which a 5-year-old boy who was outside suffered minor injuries after being bitten on his lower back by a monkey. It is believed that residents spotted a lone wild Japanese macaque.
According to the animal damage countermeasures department at the Kitakyushu Municipal Government, Japanese macaques usually live in groups, but from autumn to winter, mature males have a habit of leaving their original troops in search of another group for breeding.
The monkey in question has yet to be captured. The Wakamatsu Ward Office has been warning residents not to approach the animal or make eye contact even if they spot it, and not to irritate it by shouting.
(Japanese original by Akiho Narimatsu, Kyushu News Department)