Did British birb John Oliver just deliver a death blow to Chiitan the fairy baby otter?

Last month, Japanese mascot Chiitan made international headlines after American talk show host John Oliver dedicated an entire segment to the self-described “0-year-old fairy baby” otter from Susaki City in Kochi Prefecture.

While we’ve been watching Chiitan videos on repeat since last year, Oliver introduced the cute otter with a turtle hat to an even wider audience, who flocked to the mascot’s official Twitter account to see more of the cheeky character’s zany videos.

▼ Just a sample of the humour Chiitan has to offer.

Following Oliver’s segment on American television, the talk show host started a beef with the mascot after he sent over his own mascot, Chiijohn, to steal Chiitan’s former best friend, and official Susaki mascot, Shinjo-kun.

Chiitan declared war on the “British Birb”, and after the mascot lost its unofficial “Tourism Ambassador” status to Susaki following complaints from residents over the mascot’s unruly behaviour, Chiitan began challenging Oliver to “explode through a table” in a number of new videos, proving the otter had nothing left to lose.

That all changed on the morning of 14 May, however, when Chiitan woke up to discover it had lost its original Japanese account and associated accounts in other languages on Twitter.

According to Chiitan’s team, these accounts were abruptly suspended by Twitter for unknown reasons, and the only account to survive the suspension was Chiitan’s verified English account (@ogecebel).

Apparently, Twitter suspensions have been affecting a number of entertainment-related accounts in Japan recently, and while some entertainers have had their accounts returned, many remain suspended, including Chiitan’s Japanese, Korean, Brazilian, Arabic, and Turkish accounts.

Chiitan is now reaching out to the public for help in lifting the suspension on these accounts, by asking them to share and retweet these recent tweets.

This heartbreaking tweet shows Chiitan slowly disappearing from the world, which might be what happens if the English Twitter account gets knocked down next.

Chiitan’s team have also set up a Change.org petition to help them in their Twitter appeal, which is aiming to receive 2,500 signatures. As of this writing, the petition has received approximately 1,800 signatures.

The timing of the Twitter suspension makes us wonder if “British Birb” John Oliver could be orchestrating the moves behind the scenes, tapping his fingers together in delight and cackling like Mr Burns from The Simpsons. Is this what Chiitan gets for trolling Oliver with challenges to battle?

Either way, it’ll be an anxious wait for Chiitan to see whether the accounts will be restored in future. After all, it’s a lot to lose your status, your best friend, and millions of followers, all in the space of a year.

Source: Chiitan Team Email
Featured image: Twitter/@ogecebel
Insert image: Change.org/Help Chiitan

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