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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Zoo apologises for naming baby monkey Charlotte after newborn British princess

Published 07/05/2015 | 12:49

Princess Charlotte was born last weekend at St Mary's Hospital in London.
Princess Charlotte was born last weekend at St Mary's Hospital in London.

A zoo in Japan has apologised for naming a baby monkey Charlotte after the newborn British princess following complaints from the Japanese public.

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Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden was flooded with calls and emails hours after it announced the name for its first-born monkey of the year, a tradition at the city-run zoo in southern Japan.

Charlotte was the top choice in a public ballot, receiving 59 votes out of 853 cast in just over a month until yesterday, when the female macaque monkey was born.

Opponents said giving the princess's name to a monkey is disrespectful to the British royal family.

Despite the apology the zoo is considering sticking with Charlotte. Officials said they also received support for the name and views are divided.

The British Embassy in Tokyo declined to comment.

"We deeply apologise for causing trouble to many people over the naming of the first baby (monkey)," said a statement posted on the zoo website. "We take these opinions seriously."

Officials from the zoo and the city of Oita were still discussing what to do with the monkey's name.

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