A woman was assaulted by a monkey while hanging laundry on her veranda. Another victim showed bandaged toes. They were taken aback and frightened by how big and fat the monkeys were.
The monkeys terrorizing the community are Japanese macaque, the kind often pictured peacefully bathing in hot springs.
One male monkey, measuring 49 centimeters (1.6 foot) in height and weighing 7 kilograms (15 pounds), was caught Tuesday by the team with the tranquilizer gun. It was judged by various evidence to be one of the attacking monkeys and put to death.
But more attacks were reported after the capture.
No one has been seriously injured so far. But all have been advised to get hospital treatment. Ambulances were called in some cases.
Although Japan is industrialized and urban, a fair portion of land in the archipelago is mountains and forests. Rare attacks on people by a bear, boars or other wildlife have occurred, but generally not by monkeys.
No one seems to know why the attacks have occurred, and where exactly the troop of monkeys came from remains unclear.
“I have never seen anything like this my entire life,” Saito said.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama