Japan monkey attack victims to be given compensation

A Japanese macaque bites into a large block of ice containing frozen fruits to help beat the summer heat at the Sendai Yagiyama Zoological Park in Miyagi prefecture
Image caption Macaque monkeys - seen here in a zoo - are common in the wild throughout Japan

Residents in a city in western Japan are to be offered compensation after being attacked by a wild monkey.

The city of Hyuga in Miyazaki Prefecture will give 20,000 yen ($205; £120) to each of the 18 victims, the Kyodo news agency reports.

The male macaque was eventually captured on 9 September after terrorising the town for one and a half weeks.

Among the victims, a man required 20 stitches in his arms and right leg.

He was attacked from behind while riding a bicycle.

The monkey was cornered in an empty house in a hunt involving 2,500 fire-fighters, police and licensed hunters.

It was put down shortly after being captured, AFP news agency reported.

The owner of the house was given 300,000 yen in compensation after its walls and ceilings were damaged in the hunt.

"Considering the seriousness of the situation in which the residents were consecutively menaced and many of whom suffered injuries, we have decided to provide compensation money for this incident," a municipal official was quoted by Kyodo as saying.

The compensation decision was approved unanimously by the municipal assembly of the city on Tuesday.

A monkey attack alert on the prefecture's website has now been removed.

But patrols are continuing in the city in case of further danger, local official Kenji Yoshida has said.

"But we have not found any other monkeys threatening our people and the city has now returned to calm and normal."

Macaque monkeys are common in the wild throughout Japan, where the densely-wooded hillsides provide a habitat.

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