Japanese Zoo Sorry It Named Baby Monkey 'Charlotte'

Naming macaque after England's new princess has proved a royal pain
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2015 8:01 AM CDT
Japanese Zoo Sorry It Named Baby Monkey 'Charlotte'
In this Wednesday, May 6, 2015, photo released by the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden, a newborn baby monkey named Charlotte clings to her mother at the zoo in Oita, southern Japan.   (The Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden via AP)

A month ago, no one would have said boo about the name chosen by a Japanese zoo for its new baby monkey. But a month ago, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana hadn't yet entered the world, and now Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden is fielding a "barrage of complaints" about a public vote to also name its new macaque Charlotte, the BBC reports. It's a tradition for the first macaque born each year at the Oita zoo to have its name chosen by the public. Though voting took place over more than a month, a zoo official tells the AFP that "Charlotte" had zero votes before the princess's name was announced on Monday. But between that name revelation and the discovery of the female macaque's birth on Wednesday, "Charlotte" jumped to the lead with 59 out of 853 votes, reports the Kyodo news agency.

Japanese citizens complained the name disrespects England's royal family and that their fellow Japanese wouldn't like it if the Brits named a monkey after a member of Japanese royalty. This moniker madness could have been avoided if the zoo had simply chosen one of the other contenders that emerged during the vote, such as Kei (for well-known Japanese tennis ace Kei Nishikori) or Elsa (a tip of the hat to the Frozen character). The zoo now says it's stepping back to consider other names. "We deeply apologize for causing trouble to many people over the naming of the first baby [monkey]," a zoo statement said, per the AP. "We take these opinions seriously." A zoo rep tells the AP he hasn't heard of any complaints from British citizens yet. (Here's why Princess Charlotte is historic.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.