Monkey captured and killed by authorities in Japan for 'terrorising and assaulting' locals

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A monkey has been killed by the Japanese authorities following reports of attacks by groups of the animals on people in a city.

The authorities said there have been attacks on 58 people since 8 July in Yamaguchi - including attempts to snatch babies.

A special unit has been targeting the animals with tranquiliser guns as officials admitted they do not know why the attacks started.

A male monkey was caught by the team on Tuesday and was put to death after being judged to be one of those responsible for the attacks.

The monkeys said to be terrorising the community are Japanese macaque, which are also known as the snow monkey.

They are common throughout Japan and are often pictured peacefully bathing in hot springs.

City official Masato Saito said: "They are so smart, and they tend to sneak up and attack from behind, often grabbing at your legs.

"I have never seen anything like this my entire life."

One woman was said to have been assaulted by a monkey while hanging laundry on her veranda.

People have been given advice from officials on what to do if confronted by a monkey.

They include to not look them in the eye, make yourself appear as big as possible, such as by spreading open your coat, then back away as quietly as possible without making sudden moves.

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No one has been seriously injured - but all have been advised to get hospital treatment. Ambulances were called in some cases.

There have previously been rare attacks on people in Japan by a bear, boars or other wildlife - but not generally by monkeys.