Macaque on the run trashes homes in suburban district

Hu Min
Nimble primate has invaded homes, stolen food and scampered over rooftops to escape police and forestry officials.
Hu Min
Macaque on the run trashes homes in suburban district
Ti Gong

The macaque spotted on a roof in Jinshan District.

Macaque on the run trashes homes in suburban district
Ti Gong

The macaque photographed high in trees in Jinshan.

Police and forestry authorities in suburban Jinshan District are tracking a male macaque after he made an annoying mess at villagers' homes in Luxiang Town. 

A resident surnamed Zhu at Baiyang Village alerted police over the weekend, saying the macaque had invaded his home. 

The primate broke a bowl and scattered rice on a chair in Zhu's kitchen. He even grabbed a tomato and jumped out of the window, Zhu said. 

He was nimble and scampered along roofs and through trees in the village, residents said. 

A taxi driver said he spotted the macaque in a tree over the weekend, but the animal had already left by the time police arrived. 

The macaque was first spotted at Ganxiang residential community on August 10, killing a pigeon at a local resident's home in Yanxu Village on August 12, according to police. 

A day later, he was seen eating peanuts and rice at a local minsu (Chinese version of B&B).

"We tried to catch the macaque several times, but he was very wary, making it a tough job," said Cao Zhichao, a policeman from Ganxiang Police Station. 

He said police had received several alerts from locals. The macaque is a second-class protected species in China.

"We have tried many ways to trap him over the past three days, but all have failed," said Yang Weikang, a forestry official of Luxiang Town. 

"He swims and was on high alert against people," said Yang. "Once we approached, he fled."

Residents were advised to keep their doors and windows closed when they spotted the macaque. 

The Jinshan District Forestry Station said the macaque was probably from Songjiang or Qingpu District and he had pestered people in Zhujing Town and Tinglin Town in Jinshan as early as in July. 

He disappeared for some time before being recently spotted in Luxiang Town. 

"Shanghai is not a traditional habitat for the species, and the macaque was likely illegally kept by people as a pet and abandoned after he grew up," said He Xin, a researcher at Shanghai Natural History Museum. 

"He has disturbed residents' normal life and such random movement is not good for his health as well," said He, adding that the best care is proper handling at Shanghai Zoo. 

Special Reports