Quirky World: Zoo apologises for making a monkey out of princess

Some of the more unusual news from around the globe.

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

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 zoo in southern Japan.

Charlotte was the top choice in a public ballot, receiving 59 votes out of 853 cast. 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.

The British Embassy in Tokyo declined to comment.

Raising agent

AUSTRIA: A Vienna baker has stirred up anger by making a cake depicting Austria’s main political parties as New York’s twin towers coming under attack from opposition party aircraft.

“It’s ironic that a baker has no taste,” wrote one critic on the website of the Heute tabloid that highlighted the unusual creation.

But baker Thomas Kienbauer defended his work.

“The cake is supposed to represent the collapse of the ‘grand coalition’,” he said , referring to the centre-left Social Democrats and the conservative People’s Party who share power.

Kienbauer brushed off the online anger. “Most people who see this cake interpret it immediately as lots of people lost their lives and ... blah blah blah. Few see the purpose behind the whole thing.”

School trash

USA: An incident intended as a prank left a school littered with hay, rubbish, urine and dead animals as pupils apparently took things too far.

Director of schools in Monroe County, east Tennessee, Tim Blankenship said the incident at Sequoyah High School amounted to mass vandalism and the students involved will now not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.

In addition, he suspended the school’s principal.

Slowing down

ENGLAND: A two-hour BBC show featuring nothing more than a journey down a canal has proved an unlikely hit with viewers.

All Aboard! The Canal Trip was filmed in real time and contained no commentary, music or presenter and nothing more exciting than passing boats, changing scenery and the occasional passer-by in the distance walking along the towpath.

But half a million viewers were mesmerised by the experiment in slow TV down one the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Bird hunt

ENGLAND: A golden eagle that sparked a police hunt after escaping from its home has been found.

Suffolk Police launched the search after a member of the public reported the bird of prey was missing from its home in Stratford St Mary.

But the force later confirmed the six-year-old eagle had been found safe and well half a mile from its home. A spokesman said: “He’s now safely back on his perch.”

Fruit flies

VENEZUELA: Two Venezuelans who emigrated to escape the country’s economic woes are drawing laughs with a mobile game mocking President Nicolas Maduro for his decision to give a new home to a woman who threw a mango at him as she pleaded for housing.

The goal of Maduro Mango Attack is to accumulate points by throwing tropical fruit at the socialist leader as he scurries across the screen. Players are also rewarded for hitting the late president Hugo Chavez, who is incarnated by a small bird in a red beret, an allusion to Mr Maduro’s remarksthat Mr Chavez had visited him in fluttering form.


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