Japanese zoo kills 57 snow monkeys due to ‘alien genes’

Japanese zoo kills 57 snow monkeys due to ‘alien genes’

Japanese zoo kills 57 snow monkeys due to ‘alien genes’

Written by Staff Writer

22 Feb, 2017 | 11:32 am

A Japanese zoo has killed 57 snow monkeys, nearly one-third of the species in the facility, for carrying “invasive alien” genes, zoo officials said, adding that the animals were all crossbreeds and culling them is legally allowed.

Takagoyama Nature Zoo in Chiba said DNA testing showed the monkeys had been crossbred with the rhesus macaque.

The non-indigenous rhesus macaque is banned under Japanese law.

The monkeys were killed by lethal injection, a Futtsu official told AFP, adding that the zoo operator held a memorial service for the macaques at a nearby Buddhist temple.

Japan prohibits the possession and transport of invasive species, including crossbreeds.

An official from the Office for Alien Species Management, part of the country’s environment ministry, told local media that the culling was unavoidable because there were fears they might escape and reproduce in the wild.

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