Local authorities in search of a gang of monkeys that attacked and wounded about 50 people in western Japan caught and killed a robbed primate, an official said on Wednesday.
A male simian was confiscated while roaming the grounds of a high school in Yamaguchi town—but that may not be the end of the lovable, twisting tale the other monkeys fear to be at large.
City officials have been trying to track down the vicious gang that has made national headlines for weeks by mostly attacking residents with mild scratches and bites.
An official from the local agriculture department told Agence France-Presse that on Tuesday evening, specially commissioned hunters shot the monkey with a tranquilizer gun and eventually caught it near a lake on the school premises.
He said that after identifying it as the same animal responsible for an attack, the monkey was killed. It had an estimated lifespan of four years and was about 19 inches long.
Patrols have been ongoing in Yamaguchi since attacks on adults and children began about three weeks ago.
But as of Tuesday afternoon, the search is still on after 49 people were injured and the latest reports of the attack came.
“Witnesses have described monkeys of different sizes, and even after they have been caught, we are getting reports of new attacks,” a city official said on condition of anonymity.
Japanese macaques are commonly seen in large parts of the country, and are a pest in some areas, eating crops and even entering homes.
But the series of attacks in Yamaguchi is unusual, with some residents telling local media that they are now carrying umbrellas and tree-cutting shears to defend themselves.