These Feisty Grannies Call Themselves 'Monkey Busters,' Chasing Away Local Primate Pests With Air Guns

After monkeys began ransacking vegetables and produce grown by local farmers, three elderly women in a Japanese village recently took matters into their own hands. Calling themselves the "Monkey Busters," 74-year-old Masako Ishimura , 68-year-old Tatsuko Kinoshita and 67-year-old Miyuki Ii banded together to form a group whose sole purpose is to stop monkeys from stealing the town's food, according to the Japanese news site

The women live in Keiishi Town, an area of the Japanese prefecture Fukui, and apparently patrol their neighborhood dressed in aprons, scaring monkeys off with air guns.

Calling themselves "monkey busters", three feisty grannies in a Fukui village battle monkeys who devour agricultural crops wearing aprons and threatening them with air guns

— Tomohiro Osaki (@jt_osaki) August 23, 2020

Monkeys began appearing in the area in 2015, according to a spokesperson for the Japanese Fukui Prefecture Miyama Branch, who spoke to the Japanese site. To help combat the pesky monkeys, officials from the branch office began hosting classes in March, to teach local villagers how to get rid of the pests. The women were among those to take the course and have essentially launched their own coalition to help the people in their village.

"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," said Ishimura's husband, who also said that the monkeys began reappearing in July, after having been away for some time.

It is believed to be a group of 20 monkeys behind all the vegetable stealing, and people in the village have also blamed the same crew of monkeys for causing havoc at the nearby Asakura-san ruins of Ichijodani and Eiheiji Temple.

While the Monkey Busters chase after the primates with airguns, some thousands of miles away, villagers in India have taken to a game of dress-up to frighten the annoying monkeys that have overrun the Sikandarpur village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Although more than 5,400 people live in the Indian village, monkeys have increasingly become a problem in the town with a growing population of more than 2,000. Along with stealing food and trashing properties, the monkeys were accused of attacking children and throwing bricks at people from rooftops. In an effort to get rid of them, villagers began dressing up in a bear costume to scare the animals off.

"We have now started taking turns in wearing the bear costume and roaming around the village. It was a relative who had told me about the idea, and it is actually working," village head Ram Lalit Verma told the Hindustan Times.

 These Feisty Grannies Call Themselves 'Monkey Busters'
A baboon sits in its enclosure at the Oakland Zoo on July 29, 2020, in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images