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Penguins at a Japanese aquarium are being fed cheaper fish – and they aren’t happy



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(CNN) — An aquarium worker waves a mackerel close to a penguin — however there is no response. When she strikes the fish nearer to its beak, the penguin turns away haughtily. An otter sniffs the fish, then runs away.

For the penguins and otters at Japan’s Hakone-en Aquarium, an hour’s drive southwest of Tokyo, inflation and rising costs have meant a change in food regimen — and the animals should not completely satisfied about it.

Earlier than, the aquarium provided penguins and otters “aji,” or Japanese horse mackerel, which the animals readily ate.

However the aquarium, dwelling to 32,000 animals together with sharks and seals, was not proof against the financial woes plaguing many international economies. The worth of aji has elevated by 20% to 30% since final yr, the aquarium stated.

An employee at Japan's Hakone-en Aquarium tries to tempt penguins with mackerel, with little success.

An worker at Japan’s Hakone-en Aquarium tries to tempt penguins with mackerel, with little success.

TV Asahi

So to chop prices, in Could the aquarium switched to a less expensive various — “saba,” or mackerel.

It has not been effectively obtained, with aquarium staff having to get inventive to encourage the animals to eat — for example, the otters and penguins seem extra keen to eat the mackerel when blended with their favourite aji.

“Ideally, they want to have a full aji, however they’re patiently consuming mackerel,” aquarium keeper Hiroki Shimamoto advised CNN affiliate TV Asahi.

The aquarium can be reducing prices by lowering the variety of circulation pumps from two to at least one, which has lowered its electrical energy invoice by 40% to 50%.

“We may elevate the admission charge to the aquarium and repair this problem, however we want to do our greatest to maintain our facility a snug place for our company to go to. We don’t plan on elevating admission costs,” Shimamoto stated.

The aquarium says penguins and otters have their most popular sort of fish and the aquarium tries its greatest to accommodate their wants.

“All the animals on the aquarium are household and we do our greatest to maintain them wholesome,” it stated. “We’d by no means pressure any animal to eat what they do not need. We want to have as many individuals (as doable) come and go to Hakone and revel in our animals.”

Prime picture: An worker at Japan’s Hakone-en Aquarium waves a mackerel close to a penguin, who turns away. Credit score: TV Asahi