By tradition, the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden in the southern city of Oita allows visitors to choose the name of the first new macaque born each year by vote. Charlotte was the favorite name this time, receiving 59 of the 853 votes cast. Last year’s first born, a female called Sochi, was named in honor of the Olympics.
Some at the zoo support keeping the name Charlotte, while others want the name to be changed because it may be seen as disrespectful.
“We’re very happy to have this cute newborn monkey," a member of the zoo’s staff told ABC News. "There was absolutely no offense intended with the naming."
The zoo appeared to be in crisis mode today as talks with officials from the city of Oita about the naming decision went on for most of the day. The zoo was tight-lipped on what the talks entailed but said a decision on whether they’ll keep the monkey’s moniker will soon be made.
The rush of traffic to the zoo's website knocked it offline today. The zoo was also besieged by reporters and television crews soon after the naming announcement was made Wednesday.