Mishima’s menacing monkey manages zoo breakout

by Jun Hongo

Residents in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, were on high alert Monday after a monkey that terrorized the area last year escaped from its cage at a local park.

The 4-year-old female macaque, named Lucky, was originally captured in October after going on a weeks-long biting rampage in and around the eastern Shizuoka Prefecture city. Lucky is believed to be responsible for attacking more than 100 people before being collared and penned in Rakujuen National Park last year.

But one of Rakujuen’s caretakers found Lucky missing from its cage Monday at around 7:15 a.m. A spokesman for the zoo area of the park, which is also in Mishima, said the monkey may have escaped while the cage was unlocked for a morning cleaning, adding that Lucky may not have strayed far from the zoo.

Rakujuen, which was closed Monday, may keep its gates shut from Tuesday on as long as Lucky remains at large, the spokesman said.

Lucky quickly became a popular attraction at the zoo. In addition to appearing in a local TV commercial, Lucky even has her own Twitter account.

The spokesman said Lucky was not showing any odd behavior Sunday.