“#Granny ‘Monkey Busters’ are battling apes with airguns”
August 28, 2020 | 5:43pm
Two Japanese macaques foraging on a rock face.
Alamy Stock Photo
A group of grandmothers have taken it upon themselves to protect their Japanese village from a recent onslaught of feral apes.
Masako Ishimura, 74, Tatsuko Kinoshita, 68, and Miyuki Ii, 67, have joined together in defense of their local farmers’ vegetables and produce, which are currently under siege by the hungry monkeys.
Calling themselves the “Monkey Busters,” the women have taken to patrolling their neighborhood in Fukui, armed with airguns and dressed in aprons, Newsweek wrote in an account based on reporting by a Japanese news site.
Fukui’s Miyama area has long had an issue with pesky primates thieving local agriculture. A spokesperson for the Japanese prefecture told the local news site that the animals were first spotted in the area in 2015.
In a recent effort to keep the apes at bay, area officials began teaching villagers how to rid themselves of the pests. The Monkey Busters were among the first to take the monkey-ridding course in March, and have since fearlessly spearheaded the effort.
“There are many elderly people in the Miyama area, and the cultivation of fields is indispensable for health and vitality. It is necessary for the area to continue working together in the future,” Ishimura’s husband told the local outlet.
A period of calm reigned in early summer before the monkeys made a reappearance in July, Ishimura’s husband said. A gang of some 20 monkeys are believed to be behind the most recent property damage — the same group that’s caused trouble at an area temple and historic ruins.
“Whenever anyone from the community reports a monkey sighting, it’s usually during the day, when the women are in the middle of housework or farming. However, as soon as a sighting is reported, the Monkey Busters are immediately notified and drop everything to rush to the scene with their airguns, often arriving in their aprons as they don’t want to waste a minute in responding,” site SoraNews24 described.
The Monkey Busters have sparked much joy on social media.
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