Japan: Zoo sorry for naming monkey after new princess

Macaque monkeys eating blossom Image copyright AFP
Image caption More than 1,300 monkeys roam freely at the zoo in southern Japan

A Japanese zoo has apologised after naming a baby monkey Charlotte in honour of the newborn British princess, it's reported.

The Takasakiyama Zoo, in southern Japan, was inundated with complaints after announcing the female macaque monkey's name on Wednesday, the Kyodo news agency reports. The zoo says the name was chosen after a public vote, a tradition for their first newborn macaque monkey each year. Charlotte received the most votes, although it wasn't exactly a runaway winner, with 59 out of 853 people choosing it.

But other members of the public felt that it was disrespectful to the British royal family to name a monkey after a princess. The zoo faced a "barrage" of complaints from people wanting them to re-name the macaque, with some noting that the Japanese people might not be best pleased if a British monkey were named after one of their own royal family, Kyodo reports. The zoo has apologised in a statement on its website. It says it takes people's concerns seriously and is discussing a potential name change for the newborn animal.

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