Endangered species decides to freak people out at the busiest train station in the world.

Tokyo is a bustling metropolis filled with millions of people who live and work in the capital each day, but within this built-up concrete jungle, nature never ceases to amaze with its tenacity to keep on keeping on in the harsh, unnatural environment.

One such example of nature’s perseverance in the city was recently discovered outside the busiest train station in the world, Shinjuku Station. Standing by the entrance in the bright light of day, a strange creature appeared, looking like a shaggy half-bird, half-salaryman who’d been stripped of his briefcase and suit.

▼ Twitter user @rukikikikiki stopped to photograph the odd-looking biped, who didn’t seem perturbed by the commuters it freaked out nearby.

▼ While the bird looked unusual from a distance, it looked even odder close-up.

Curious to know what type of bird this was, and why it was standing outside Shinjuku Station as if waiting for its ride to arrive, @rukikikikiki shared the images on Twitter, where they were liked and retweeted thousands of times.

Avian enthusiasts were quick to identify the bird as “mizogoi” in Japanese. In English, mizogoi is commonly known as the Japanese night heron, a species found in East Asia which breeds in Japan — although it’s also been spotted in in Korea and eastern Russia — and spends its winters in Indonesia and the Philippines.

The bird is rarely seen in downtown Tokyo, if at all, as it prefers to live in a dense, damp, forest-like habitat. Furthermore, the Japanese night heron is listed as an endangered species, making the reason for its appearance outside Shinjuku Station even more of a mystery.

People online were intrigued to see the bird outside the station, leaving comments like:

“It’s a person who exited the station and magically transformed into a bird.”
“That face of confusion when you think you’re going to the west exit of the station but you wind up at the east exit.”
“This may actually be a salaryman reincarnated as a bird.”
“This is the same face you see on people from countryside Japan who come to Shinjuku Station for the first time!”
“I’ve pulled this face when I’ve come out of the maze known as the Shinjuku Dungeon.”

According to experts, the markings on the bird indicate that it’s an adult, and its appearance outside the station may have been a result of it having its habitat removed or some other trouble experienced during migration. Whatever the reason for its appearance, though, the wildlife division from the Japanese environment ministry advises that if you see this bird in the city, it’s best to leave it be as it’s a wild species.

We can’t help but hope that the bird was able to find its way out of the city to a more suitable habitat, perhaps in the gorgeous swathe of nature known as Totoro Forest in Saitama Prefecture. Because that’s where magical-looking birds like these really belong.

Source: Twitter/@rukikikikiki via Livedoor News via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Twitter/@rukikikikiki
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