Fresh questions arise after kangaroo dies at Hokkaido zoo -- Jan 09
A female kangaroo found dead at a zoo in Sapporo on Friday was likely killed after her neck was caught in the mesh of her feeding box, raising fresh questions over the zoo's habitat conditions following a string of other animal deaths.

Officials at Sapporo Maruyama Zoo said a keeper found the eastern grey kangaroo named Ume lying dead in her cage in the morning because of a spinal cord injury, likely caused by her neck becoming dislocated after she stuck her nose into her feeding box, Nippon News Network reports (Jan. 7).

Crowds of visitors were gathered Saturday morning to mourn the sudden death of Ume, for whom the zoo had set up a memorial.

The zoo has implemented unspecified emergency measures to prevent other kangaroos from becoming caught in the mesh. Smaller mesh for feeding boxes were implemented last year.

Kato Osamu, director of Sapporo Maruyama Zoo, said the zoo has "ended up causing an extremely heartbreaking incident. We hope to properly examine what went wrong."

Fresh questions have been raised over management and habitat conditions at the zoo following the deaths of other animals, including a sun bear that was being trained for breeding and a giraffe that suffocated on food, TV Asahi reported (Jan. 7).

A child visiting the zoo to pay respects for Ume said they were "sad she passed away."

Another child said they "thought going to the zoo would mean there'd be lots of fun things, but [Ume] is gone, poor her."

News sources:, ANNnewsCH
Sep 21
Emperor Akihito on Wednesday visited a shrine dedicated to ancient Korean settlers in Hidaka, Saitama Prefecture. (Japan Today)
Sep 20
Toshiba Corp has decided to sell its chip unit to a Japan-U.S.-South Korean consortium for around 2.4 trillion yen ($21 billion) following months of talks involving other bidders, sources close to the matter said Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Sep 20
Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested a 36-year-old woman in Yukahashi City after she admitted to stabbing her husband, who himself told police his intestines were "coming out" in an emergency call. (
Sep 20
The estranged wife of a former violin maker broke into his house and destroyed 54 violins and 70 bows after they fought over payments for child support, prosecutors said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Sep 20
A work by 15th-century ink wash painter Sesshu that had been missing for 84 years has been found. (NHK)
Sep 20
Some 862,000 people in Japan are estimated to have been newly diagnosed with cancer in 2013, down some 3,000 from the previous year, a National Cancer Center research revealed Wednesday. (Jiji)
Sep 18
Severe tropical storm Talim has made landfall on Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, after passing by the western coast of the country. It is packing strong winds and torrential rains. (NHK)
Sep 18
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is on his way to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. (NHK)
Sep 18
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a middle school counselor for allegedly having sex with a middle school student after promising a cash payment, reports TV Asahi (
Sep 16
The number of centenarians in Japan totaled 67,824 as of Friday, hitting a record high for the 47th consecutive year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. (Jiji)