Shibuya Monkey Timeline
On August 20, 2008, a macaque monkey ran wild in Shibuya train station in Tokyo. Startled commuters watched as police failed to catch the monkey. TV crews were able to video the monkey chase through the station. The macaque escaped into the city. Video of the chase was broadcast on TV stations worldwide and posted on TV and newspaper websites. The story was reported worldwide.
Media On Alert
On September 9, 2008 a monkey was seen in Tokyo and local media converged on the area. Again, the Shibuya-monkey-spotting was reported extensively in Japan and worldwide. Some reports outside Japan erroneously stated the monkey had been loose for over a month.
On October 6, TBS-TV "Evening Five" news in Tokyo reported a monkey had been spotted in Takanawa, Tokyo and then the newscaster asked if it was the same monkey as from Shibuya station.
On October 9, the NHK-TV "Newswatch 9" weekday 9 p.m. TV news report also reported on the Takanawa monkey sightings and the caster asked the same question: is it the same monkey? The newscast also showed photos of the monkey taken August 20 in Shibuya and October 3 in Takanawa, to a primate specialist at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. The scholar compared the attributes of the monkey noses, and concluded the images were of the same macaque.
Journalists in Tokyo were becoming concerned about the increasing number of monkey-sighting reports.
Then, on October 19, the monkeys came to city hall.
The Tokyo Metropolitan government office building complex in Shinjuku, Tokyo, was overrun by hordes of uniformed monkeys. Police immediately evacuated pedestrians and cordoned off the area. Stunned company employees watched as the monkeys were rounded up and taken to police headquarters for questioning.
"This is Japan. We love monkeys here. Why is this happening?", one bystander asked. Another person watching nearby said, "That Shibuya monkey has caused a lot of trouble. It should be caught."
Police suspect the Shibuya monkey is the leader of the insurgents.
It is not known where the monkeys obtained the uniforms.