TOSHIYUKI TAKEYA/ Staff Writer
November 4, 2016 at 11:00 JST
Editor's note: This is part of a series of videos offering an up-close perspective on the animal kingdom. A special 360-degree video camera system was set up in zoos and other facilities to show how the animals view their world as they interact.
Also visit our special 360-DEGREE LIVES page (http://t.asahi.com/360lives), where you can watch all the previous videos.
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Nogeyama Zoo's star attraction is not a panda, nor even a handsome gorilla.
It's not even the kagu. Kagu? The kagu is an endangered flightless bird found in New Caledonia, and this is the only place in Japan you can find one.
So, who is the star of the show at Nogeyama Zoological Gardens in Yokohama?
It's the humble house mouse.
The facility might be home to about 100 species, but the Mouse World (nezumi world) section is pulling in all the young punters.
Mouse World takes up one corner of the Nakayoshi Hiroba area on the eastern side of the Yokohama city-operated zoo.
And there, toddlers are allowed to play with some of the 300 or so of the small mammals that live there.
A video camera placed in the middle of the area--adorned with Halloween pumpkin decorations--captured about 60 house mice in action. They ran around their “park,” climbing a rope ladder and popping up from a small wooden house as if they were playing tag.
The kids can only see and touch the female mice. The males are separated from the females and kept in the backyard as the animal is highly fertile. They basically breed like rabbits.
House mice live in agricultural fields and elsewhere throughout the world. They are about 7 centimeters long and have a tail of about 6 cm in length. They have a life expectancy of 1 to 2 years.
Admission is free to enter the 3.3-hectare Nogeyama Zoological Gardens.
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