(CNN) — A wild monkey is terrorizing a small town in southwestern Japan, breaking into homes to bite and scratch residents amid an ongoing hunt for the animal, authorities said.
Some 20 people in Yamaguchi’s Ogori area have been attacked by the monkey since July 8, with most receiving minor injuries, according to the city’s administrative office.
The youngest victim is a 10-month-old girl, whose leg was scratched by the monkey after it entered through a screen door on the first floor of her home.
On Tuesday night, the monkey attacked a primary school and bit a 10-year-old boy in the arm and both hands, public broadcaster NHK reported.
He attacked two more people Tuesday night and Wednesday morning: a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s, who were outside at the time.
In other recent attacks, the monkey bit a man drying clothes outside and a woman whose balcony screen door was open. He also attacked two little brothers after climbing into their house through a window, NHK reported.
Authorities have not confirmed what type of monkey was responsible for the attacks, but said the area is inhabited by macaques, also known as Japanese snow monkeys. Macaques can be found in parks in various areas of Japan, often rummaging through visitors’ food.
Police are stepping up patrols in the area and urging the public to keep their windows closed as the hunt continues.
The Ogori area is largely residential, and it is rare for a wild monkey to leave the forest and harm humans, a city office spokesman said.