The macaque monkey that appeared unescorted at Shibuya train station in Tokyo in August 2008 remains free. The monkey outsmarted police and escaped into the city. Cops have been responding to the occasional monkey-sighting, but have failed to catch the chimp.
The monkey is now living in an internet cafe. The little simian was last seen in Tokyo Nov. 6, 2008. A chimp claiming to be the Shibuya monkey "Makawaii" has been posting updates via Twitter.
A primate specialist says monkeys that escape into urban areas become stressed and usually seek a quick return to their quiet hometowns. Taro Suzuki, Chief Profiler of the Missing Monkey Unit of the Association of Primates Special Hunting Team says monkeys that become lost in a city will make great efforts to return home. Distrusting public transportation, loose monkeys often hitchhike home.
Suzuki believes the Shibuya monkey was traumatized by the police attempts to catch the monkey. "As the nets were green, the monkey has probably developed a phobia about green. The countryside has much greenery and the monkey is afraid of returning to a forested area," the APSHT profiler said.
A review of photos of the monkey confirms Suzuki’s theory. The macaque is pictured in gray areas. One video shows the monkey fleeing from greenery in Tokyo.
Suzuki also studied Makawaii’s Twitter post archive. On Jan. 15, the monkey posted "Designing futur netcafe-it will be tiled room and have concret flors for ez cleening with hose". On Jan. 20, "jumping around and bouncing off the walls!!". On Jan. 27, the monkey wrote "hding under desk chewing fingernails."
"My analysis of the the monkey-posts indicates the monkey is suffering from dementia. The Shibuya monkey has taken shelter in the safety and comfort of an internet cafe. I recommend this as short term solution. As you can see, the confined space and fear of green is having a detrimental effect. I hope the monkey seeks treatment soon," Suzuki said.
Tokyo police would not comment on efforts to catch the monkey. Lets Japan has learned computer security experts are using traceroute data to locate the monkey. A source says the missing monkey appears to be using off-the-shelf software to create phantom computers to mask the source internet protocol address. Police are also using coordinates from spy satellites.
Lets Japan asked passers-by for ideas about apprehending the Shibuya monkey.
How do you catch a monkey?
I will spank the monkey.
He should stay indoors. It is cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
I’d like to get my stinking paws on that damned dirty ape!
A drunken donkey will not remember the monkeys bite.