Misawa residents warned: Do not approach the wild monkey
Stars and Stripes August 1, 2009
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Security forces personnel have received dozens of calls in the last 10 days reporting a 3-foot, 65-pound intruder on the base.
With its gray fur, pink face and, well, pink tush, the Japanese macaque — or snow monkey — isn’t too hard to spot. Turns out it’s much harder to catch.
Staff Sgt. Scott Ferguson, a flight sergeant with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, said the goal now is to chase the monkey off base — which they did once before.
Japanese officials were alerted, Ferguson said.
A spokesman from Misawa City’s Agricultural and Fisheries Division, which oversees the protected species, said the monkey has been spotted frequently in local communities in the past two weeks.
Division spokesman Koji Fukuda said officials believe it’s the same monkey. He said that according to the reports, it appeared to be moving north before turning south down into Misawa city and the base.
“He must have been ousted from [his] group,” Fukuda said.
The Japanese community has been warned not to approach the wild animal or attempt to feed it, he said.
Ferguson said the same warning goes for base residents. There have been no reported injuries on or off base, and officials want to keep it that way.
Fukuda said it’s rare for a monkey to appear in residential areas in Misawa. That last reported case was five or six years ago, he said.
Anyone who sees the monkey should call Security Forces at DSN 226-3600 or 226-4358, Ferguson said.