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Japanese penguins teased by a frugal zoo

#Japanese #penguins #teased #frugal #zoo

Pimply penguins and unruly otters at a Japanese aquarium face the effects of inflation and reject the new bargains their keepers are now offering after a price jump.

As part of an effort to tighten its belt, Hakone-en Aquarium in central Japan’s Kanagawa region has scrapped some of its traditional and more expensive stick mackerel in favor of cheaper mackerel.

But the menu change does not meet with everyone’s approval, some penguins resolutely stretch their beaks upwards when the mackerel is handed to them.

“They put it in their mouths first, but then they decide they don’t like it and they drop it,” aquarium manager Hiroki Shimamoto told AFP.

He speculates that the uncompromising penguins may have trouble with the size of their new meals, which are larger than their standard diet.

“They sense something is wrong,” he said.

The problem is even more acute with the aquarium’s otters, which have consistently rejected the cheaper fish, Shimamoto added.

The facility said it made the switch after horse mackerel prices rose about 20 to 30 percent from a year earlier, partly due to lower catches.

The aquarium still buys some horse mackerel for its food, but has no plans to fully return until prices drop, Shimamoto said.

“It all depends on when things get back to normal.”

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#Japanese #penguins #teased #frugal #zoo

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