Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Monkeys appointed station masters

Two baby monkeys have been appointed station masters of a Japanese railway station.

Nehime and Rakan have started "working" at Hojomachi Station in Hyogo prefecture in a bid to attract more visitors to the line.

The monkeys, aged seven months and three months, were dressed in blue uniforms made from traditional local fabrics complete with mini hats.

The pair were formally appointed station masters and "special city residents" by the local mayor and now go on duty at the station located on the Hojo-cho line.

The monkeys belong to a local resident who proposed the unusual arrangement in order to help revive the fortunes of the financially troubled railway line, according to the Mainichi newspaper.

It is not the first time in Japan that animals have found themselves at the helm of a railway station: Tama, the tortoiseshell cat, is famous in Japan as a longstanding station master of Kishi station in Wakayama prefecture.


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