National

Monkey eludes capture as it’s tracked throughout Tokyo

Staff Report

A series of monkey sightings around Tokyo continued on Tuesday, as what appears to be a solo wild animal traversed eastern parts of the metropolis.

Katsushika Ward used its Twitter account to keep the public updated Tuesday morning, noting the latest sighting locations and warning residents not to approach the animal and to call police instead.

The ward tweeted at 12:36 p.m. that police and ward officials were attempting to catch the scampering animal in the Shibamata district. A photo appearing with the tweet showed police officers and other officials carrying large nets. But the attempt failed, as the ward said the monkey escaped and appeared to be headed toward Edogawa Ward to the south.

At around 2 p.m., a sighting was indeed confirmed in Edogawa Ward. That office, via Twitter and its website, issued a warning that residents should close their doors and windows. Following a 4:30 p.m. update saying the monkey had been spotted in the Kita Koiwa area, no new information was posted by the ward as of 11 p.m.

The recent chain of monkey sightings apparently started in October, according to some Japanese media outlets. NHK reported that a monkey was spotted in the city of Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Oct. 17, with more witness accounts in Yokohama and other cities later in the month.

Accounts from early December, meanwhile, reported similar sightings in Tokyo’s Minato and Ota wards.

Media reports have cited a high likelihood that a single monkey — the one first spotted in Kanagawa — wandered north and entered Tokyo.

This isn’t the first time a monkey has been spotted in urban Tokyo. Kyodo News reported in August 2008 that a monkey spurred chaos at Shibuya Station, eluding more than 30 police officers sent to catch it. Police at the time similarly reported multiple monkey sightings across the city.