Monkey Hunters Shoot Woman Reporting Monkey Activity With a Tranquilizer Dart

Monkeys have been terrorizing locals.

Monkeys have caused plenty of drama this summer in Japan. In July, the Associated Press reported that residents in the southwest of the country were being attacked by primates "trying to snatch babies, biting and clawing at flesh, and sneaking into nursery schools." The situation has gotten so severe that local officials have hired specialists to hunt down the monkeys with tranquilizer guns. What could go wrong? Specifically: A local resident who was merely reporting monkey activity found herself on the business end of a tranquilizer dart.

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Monkey Hunters Missed Target

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On Monday afternoon, some residents of Fuji City spotted a monkey near Fujikawa Station, and three municipal employees and a specialist, armed with tranquilizer guns, were dispatched to collect the primate humanely. Sora News 24 reported that the monkey hunters arrived at the station around 3 p.m. and contacted a woman who had seen the monkey so she could provide more information. The eyewitness report ended rather abruptly.

2
Eyewitness Passed Out

Sora News 24

The reason: The woman was reportedly shot in the left arm with a tranquilizer dart nearly 6 inches long. Quite understandably, she passed out. City officials say that when the woman arrived at the scene, the hunters were taping the barrels of their tranquilizer guns "to prevent air leakage." In that process, one accidentally pulled the trigger of his gun, discharging it.

3
Woman Speechless for Hours

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The woman was taken to the hospital, where she regained consciousness about an hour later, Sora News 24 reported. But she wasn't able to communicate until an hour after that—the tranquilizer dart contained enough sedative to subdue a 33-pound monkey. Fortunately, the woman wasn't seriously injured and was able to go home that day. 

4
Monkeys Have Been Terrorizing Locals

Sora News 24

The mobilization of a monkey-hunting team might seem extreme, but the monkey situation in Japan is a bit unusual at the moment. NBC News reported that monkeys have entered buildings through unlocked doors and windows, terrorizing residents, and one elderly man was even attacked in his sleep. People in problem areas have been told to keep their doors and windows shut. This summer, more than 60 people have been attacked by monkeys in Yamaguchi City alone. Some residents have taken to carrying umbrellas and tree shears as they go about their daily business to fend off attacking monkeys.

5
Investigation Pledged

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Fuji City government officials apologized to the woman, launched an investigation, an assured the public such accidental shootings wouldn't happen again. As for the monkey, according to Sora News, it's still at large.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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