Japan's beloved zoologist Masanori Hata dies.

Japanese zoologist and filmmaker Masanori Hata, who made connecting humans with animals his life's purpose, has died at 87.

Mutsugoro, as he was fondly known, was famous for directing The Adventures of Milo and Otis, an 80s classic about the unlikely friendship between a kitten and a pug.

Back home in Japan, he also served as an oracle of sorts for TV audiences who wanted to better understand their pets.

He reportedly died of a heart attack.

He lived much of his life at a ranch in Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan, which he shared with his wife, brown bears, horses and dogs of a variety of breeds and sizes.

The property, which he often called an "animal kingdom" is named after him - Mutsugoro in Japanese means mudfish. The ranch was also the setting for The Adventures of Milo and Otis. Released in 1986, the film is still loved by children from that decade.

Hokkaido was clearly proud of him given he features on the prefecture's tourism website. Their profile says Mr Hata's eyes "shone with wisdom and kindness".

Source: www.bbc.com


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