Monday, August 24, 2009

Hunter Shot in Monkey Cull

A member of a hunting group here has been arrested for allegedly shooting a fellow hunter to death on Sunday morning after mistaking him for a monkey, police said.

Police accuse Suminori Maeda -- a 51-year-old resident of the Chiba Prefecture city of Kimitsu -- of mistakenly shooting 72-year-old fellow member Masayoshi Murakoshi with a shotgun in a mountain forest in the city at around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. The two were reportedly taking part in the culling of wild monkeys, in response to the municipal government's request for the extermination of harmful animals.

Murakoshi was rushed to hospital, but later died from injuries to his upper body, according to police.

Police, who arrested Maeda on the spot on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injuries, are now investigating the case for alleged professional negligence resulting in death. "I mistook Murakoshi for a monkey," Maeda was quoted as telling investigators.

According to police, Maeda and Murakoshi were among 11 members participating in the hunting trip from early Sunday morning. After learning that hunters had found some monkeys, Maeda is believed to have mistaken Murakoshi -- who was at about 20 meters away on the other side of a river -- for a monkey and shot the victim with the shotgun.

Full story here.

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