Penguins Unimpressed With Japanese Aquarium's Shift To Cheaper Fish

A Japanese aquarium said it's trying to switch its penguins' diet to a cheaper kind of fish as a result of inflation, but the birds aren’t having it. Officials at the Hakone-en Aquarium, southwest of Tokyo, said they switched the penguins from their usual diet of aji — Japanese horse mackerel — to a cheaper variety of mackerel after the price of aji spiked nearly 30% over last year. Unfortunately, the penguins have been snubbing the new offering. “Even if they take it in their beaks, they’ll just spit it out,” said Hiroki Shimamoto, head zookeeper at the aquarium. The penguins will, however, begrudgingly eat the cheaper fish if it’s mixed in with some aji. Keepers said the facility’s otters have also shown a preference for aji over the cheaper fish. "We could raise the admission fee to the aquarium and fix this issue, but we would like to do our best to keep our facility a comfortable place for our guests to visit. We do not plan on raising admission prices," Shimamoto said.