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Zoo monkey keeps name Charlotte

A monkey born in a Japanese zoo is to keep its name Charlotte.

Oita city officials settled a national debate over whether calling the monkey Charlotte offended its British royal namesake.

The officials said they will stick to their first choice because there was no protest from Britain's royal family.

The dispute began when the popular Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden named a newborn macaque Charlotte, which was the favourite in a public ballot.

Immediately after the decision was announced, the zoo was flooded with protests from some Japanese people saying it was disrespectful to British royals, prompting an initial apology.

But Oita mayor Kiichiro Sato endorsed the decision today, saying Charlotte is a very cute name.

Charlotte came top in a public vote, receiving 59 out of 853 votes before the female monkey was born on Wednesday.

Votes for Charlotte surged after the British princess was named on Monday and it topped the ballot in the last three days of voting, which ran from March 27 to May 6.

The complaints originated in Japan. Zoo official Akira Asano said he was not aware of any complaints from British citizens.

He said the zoo also received support for the name Charlotte and views were largely divided.

City spokesman Kazuyuki Adachi said: "We have decided to respect the feelings of the people who voted for the name to congratulate the birth of the princess."

Mr Sato added: "(The monkey) is given a wonderful and cute name, Charlotte. I think we should stick to Charlotte."

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