Penguins and otters reject cheaper fish as Japan aquarium faces inflation

Penguins at an aquarium in Japan give a chilly reception to the cheapest fish on the menu in the face of rising prices.

The Hakone-en Aquarium in Kanagawa Prefecture has generally fed its penguins and otters Japanese horse mackerel, but has started replacing some with a less expensive type of mackerel.

And the animals are not impressed.

“[The penguins] First they take it in their mouth, but then they decide they don’t like it and drop it,” aquarium director Hiroki Shimamoto told Agence France-Presse, adding that the otters have also rejected cheap products.

A Japanese-language news segment this week included a video of the animals clarifying their feelings.

AFP attributed the rise in the price of horse mackerel to general inflation and a recent low catch yield. The aquarium began supplementing animal meals with cheaper mackerel in May, but the cheaper fish is becoming a bigger part of their diet as costs continue to rise, Shimamoto told Vice World News.

Resisters, however, may find their hunger strike worthwhile.

“For those who refuse to eat the new fish, we just give them what they used to eat,” Shimamoto told Vice.

Meanwhile, The Tough Penguins have found plenty of new fans on Twitter, especially after CNN’s Jake Kwon shared a screenshot of a particularly disdainful bird turning away from a fish.


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