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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Narita Airport Zoo


A zoo at Narita Airport? Well, the closest you'll come to one is after you exit immigration (if you're on your way out of Japan). Just a few paces to your left, on the left hand side of the corridor, you will see a crocodile, a bit of a python, and some beautiful birdwing butterflies - unfortunately all dead as dodos.

Narita Airport Zoo, Chiba

The glass case that encloses the miniature stuffed alligator, the python skin biwa (traditional stringed musical instrument) and the once-gay pair of birdwing butterflies, is a display of prohibited imports and exports.

Japan's neighbor, China, is a growing market for rare and exotic specimens, and, much like China, Japan, too, has numerous cultural artifacts that traditionally use now endangered species in their manufacture.

Narita Airport

Presumably these specimens and artifacts on display were among those impounded by Japanese Customs officers. Fate has decreed that these unfortunates should find a little fame and ongoing utility as a warning to all who would hunt and kill their dwindling kind.

Narita Airport Zoo

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Narita Airport

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