16:45 25 January 2017
Macaque named after British princess wins monkey popularity contest
OITA, Japan, Jan. 25, Kyodo
A monkey named after Britain's Princess Charlotte won a monkey popularity contest for the second year in a row, a Japanese zoo said Wednesday.
Charlotte, a 1-year-old Japanese macaque, was born in 2015 a few days after the birth of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, the second child of Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The monkey garnered 762 of the 1,976 votes cast online and by visitors to the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden in the southwestern Japanese city of Oita.
The macaque caused headlines when she was named because there were concerns the decision could be seen as being "disrespectful" to the British royal family. However, the zoo decided to keep the name after consulting with the British Embassy in Tokyo and confirming the embassy had no complaints.
The zoo, which is popular among visitors as a feeding ground for wild macaques that live nearby, separately conducted a contest to choose the "best-looking male monkey."
That award went to Benz, a legendary alpha male monkey who went missing in 2014.
Even though the zoo believes Benz has since died, "His popularity never wanes because he has a strong following," one zoo official said.