Japan: Penguins refuse to be fed cheaply


Penguins and otters in an aquarium shun the cheaper fish served because of inflation.

Penguins and otters are choosy over cheaper food.

Kazuhiro NOGI AFP/File

Penguins and otters at a Japanese aquarium are picky eaters: They refuse the cheaper fish their keepers have recently been serving them, because of soaring prices, forcing the site to cut corners. Some penguins are very adamant. “They first take (the new fish, Editor’s note) in their beak, but then they decree that they do not like it and reject it”, said Wednesday, Hiroki Shimamoto, the person in charge of the aquarium of Hakone ( southwest of Tokyo). Rather than a matter of taste, Mr Shimamoto guesses the penguins are perplexed by the size of the new fish, which are larger than the old ones: “They sense there’s something wrong,” he thinks. -he.

More selective otters

The otters are even tougher, having unanimously refused the cheaper fish, he said. Prices for horse mackerel, the fish the aquarium used to serve to its penguins and otters, jumped 20 to 30 percent from a year ago, due to lower catches. The aquarium is still buying some horse mackerel, but has no plans to revert entirely to its old menu until prices drop, Shimamoto said. Penguins and otters will therefore have to take their troubles patiently.


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