(CNN) – Authorities said a wild monkey is terrorizing a small town in southwestern Japan, breaking into homes to bite and scratch residents amid a constant animal hunt.
Twenty people in Yamaguchi’s Oguri district have been attacked by a monkey since July 8, with most of them slightly injured, according to the city’s administrative office.
The youngest victim is a 10-month-old girl whose leg was scratched by a monkey after it entered through a barrier door on the first floor of her home.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that the monkey attacked an elementary school Tuesday night and bit a 10-year-old boy on the arm and both hands.
Two other people attacked on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning: a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s, who were outside at the time.
In other recent attacks, the monkey bit a man drying clothes outside and a woman whose balcony door was open. NHK reported that he also attacked two younger brothers after they climbed into their home through a window.
Authorities have not confirmed what type of monkey was responsible for the attacks, but said the area is inhabited by macaques, also known as Japanese snow monkeys. Macaques can be found in parks in different regions of Japan, often looking for food for visitors.
Police are ramping up patrols in the area and are urging the public to keep their windows closed as the chase continues.
A spokesman for the city office said Oguri is largely residential and it is rare for a wild monkey to leave the forest and harm humans.
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