Chiba Zoo in Japan announced on February 20 that it had put to death 57 snow monkey hybrids
Over the span of a month, they administered lethal injections to these beautiful creatures. Despite other viable options that could have kept the monkeys alive, they went ahead with the kill.
In 2004 the Japanese government introduced the Invasive Alien Species Act. Put into force in 2005, it included a policy to exterminate the non-indigenous Rhesus macaque. The act also forbade the importation, ownership or transportation of any alien species.
The Rhesus macaque species of monkey is originally from mainland Asia. The Japanese feel concerned that their presence will have a catastrophic impact on the natural ecosystem.
While their environmental concerns are understandable, culling should be a last resort. Other options such as sterilization, or transporting the alien species out of the country, could have taken place.
The Japanese snow monkey is also known as the Japanese Macaque, or “Macaca Fuscata“. In Japanese, they are “Nihonzaru“. These monkeys are endemic to Boso peninsula mountain region, south of Tokyo.
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