Zoo backpedals from naming baby monkey after U.K. princess


A zoo in Oita was forced to backpedal on its announcement that it will name a baby Japanese monkey Charlotte in honor of the newborn British princess, following complaints the move is disrespectful to that nation’s royal family.

The Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden, popular among visitors as a feeding ground for wild macaques nearby, said Thursday it will seek the opinion of the British Embassy about the naming.

The zoo solicits names from the general public for the first macaque born each year.

Charlotte, taken from Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, the second child of Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, was the top choice, with 59 out of 853 votes. Also in the running were Kei, after Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori., and Elsa, a character in the Disney film “Frozen.”

The zoo announced the naming after a zookeeper spotted this year’s firstborn, a healthy female, clinging to her mother Wednesday morning. But the zoo soon received about 300 phone calls and emails demanding a retraction and asking the zoo to imagine what the Japanese people would think if a British monkey were named after a member of Japan’s Imperial family.

A zoo official said it was discussing a possible name change for the baby macaque.

  • Don Corleone

    really, after a princess?

  • Thomas Ralph Nissen

    How about Princess Banana?

  • Steve

    Totally idiotic. I’m British and I couldn’t care less if they named a monkey after this baby, and I can’t imagine any other British person would either, even the silly royalists and Diana-ites.
    In fact, I would say this is actually insulting to monkeys since it supposes they are inferior as a species and not worthy of being named in honour of a child that has thus far done nothing to warrant our respect (unless you believe that being randomly born to be 6th or 7th in line to a no-longer-necessary throne should be respected?) The fact that 300 people complained on this non-issue rather than some of the more relevant animal welfare issues at zoos shows you that even in the 21st century, we still haven’t got our priorities right about the natural world.

  • HSM

    Better thought: name the monkey after Japanese Princess Aiko … if it’s such a great idea.

  • Chris Lannister

    It’s nice that Japanese people are being very considerate but no one in the UK is offended by the name! Name it whatever you want!

  • etchasketch

    Don’t name it after anyone black.

  • Dean Harris

    The Japanese have NO REASON to be sorry for naming the monkey after what’s her face. Who cares if the english are offended?! What do the english have to do with Japan and what they do??! Nothing! The english can quit their whining and mind their OWN business and quit trying to run the lives of others. The monkey is a lot cuter than what’s her face anyway. The english pinheads need to quit being so easily offended.

    It’s a good thing that animals can’t learn deception, backstabbing or vanity.

  • J.P. Bunny

    How do we know that the princess wasn’t named after the monkey?