A Japanese zoo that caused a furore by naming a baby monkey after Britain’s Princess Charlotte has been told to stick to its guns by the local mayor after two days of fraught debate.
Mt Takasaki Wild Monkey Park in Oita was flooded with complaints after announcing Wednesday that the public had voted for a newborn macaque to be called Charlotte, just days after Britain’s royal family named its newest member.
With the story making headlines around the world on Thursday, the zoo offered an apology for any offence caused to the daughter of Prince William and his wife Kate.
More than 500 people got in touch with the monkey park over two days to voice an opinion on the name, with early correspondents urging them to drop it.
“Initially opinions were mostly complaints saying it is disrespectful to the British people, then voices supporting the name began to increase, with some saying it was okay because the baby monkey is cute,” an official in Oita, southwestern Japan, said.
As the controversy raged online, on television and in the newspapers, local officials even sought the opinion of the British embassy in Tokyo — who offered no comment — before Mayor Kiichiro Sato ended the confusion with a definitive ruling.
“I think the public gave it the very pretty name Charlotte, and I don’t think there is any problem with it, so we’ll go with Charlotte,” Sato told reporters.