Monday, September 17, 2012

Japan bad animal report, part 1

This is a sign on an exhibit at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo which is shared by a tapir, a llama and a capybara. It has warnings for all three animals, reading right to left, roughly:

Caution, the tapir can hit you with pee at five meters
Caution, the llama can hit you with spit
Caution, the capybara can hit you with its cuteness.

Apparently in Japanese "hit with cuteness" is a regularly used idiom. Given the pernicious effects of cute animals on people, we need to adopt a term like this in English.

(Another note: These animals don't share the exhibit nicely. They used to, but now they don't get along, so now they have to switch off and you can only see the capybara till around 10:30 and then it's tapir time for the rest of the day.)


  1. wow, totally recognized the photo as soon as I saw it. Ueno keeps changing the zoo around so I haven't seen those signs. will check it out next time we head over there. Waiting for it to get cooler. One time we were there the tiger kept trying to eat a 2 year old girl as she sat by the glass. Many people stopped to snap photos because it was cute to see a tiger pawing and licking at the glass. It's the closest zoo for us but it has the saddest history.

  2. Waiting for it to get cooler is a good idea. I practically died of heatstroke several times in the past two weeks.


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