Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cutta-kun/Katta-kun is dead カッタ君が死ぬ

From the rather sparse wikipedia entry about Ube City:
"One of the main attractions of the park is a white pelican called 'Katta-kun', so named after his parents who were from Calcutta, India. Born in the park in 1985, he became famous as he began visiting schools in the vicinity by himself." (Note: Katta-kun would be the straight romanization of his name but souvenirs from Tokiwa Park spell it as Cutta-kun which is how I've always known it as.)

According to the Tokiwa Park history of Cutta-kun (sadly not updated yet), Katta-kun started terrorizing visiting schools on his own back in 1988. The story made national news and from that time onward he became a symbol of Ube City.

Cartoon images of Cutta-kun can be seen around Ube on buses, maps and there is even a postcard set featuring Cutta-kun.

An animated film about him, カッタくん物語 (Cutta-kun Monogatari), was made as a fundraiser for the city back in 1994.

The movie was not based on fact since Cutta-kun apparently could SHOOT BEAMS FROM HIS MOUTH:

cutta beam

Cutta-kun was 23.

NHK story on Cutta-kun.
Asahi Shinbun story.


lostinube said...

I tried really hard to make this post serious but after I found the gif of him shooting the beam from his mouth I couldn't help myself.

Arsenette said...

Awwwww RIP Mr. Pelican! Ube's taking the spotlight for the wrong reasons dangit...

lostinube said...

I don't know which is weirder to have the city make national news for: a busjacking teenager or the passing of a pelican.

Arsenette said...

LOL both on the same week too.. hmmm.. that's a toss up.. you need a politician scandal to round out things.

pamwax said...

I am so sorry for Ube's loss. 23 who would think a pelican could even live that long.

tricia said...

RIP Catta-Kun. Now the question becomes, will they keep using his likeness on everything or look for another "mascot" to take his place?

Beloved animals always make the news. This year we've had big stories on the naked mole rats and the horny black rhino at our zoo.

lostinube said...

Well, there are like fifty other pelicans plus Cutta-kun's own offspring Kirara-kun still in the park. But I think they'll keep the name on in "honor" of Cutta-kun.

But if Maji-chan comes back this summer and in the future, who knows if it will replace Cutta-kun (although I doubt it).

allison said...

Holy crap! I'm shocked and sad to hear this. Actually, I'm shocked because I had no idea Cutta-kun was still alive. But now I'm sad that he's gone! Aw.