As countries around the world feel the effects of rising inflation, the Hakone-en Aquarium in Hakone, Japan, has been looking for ways to mitigate increased prices where possible.
Home to over 30,000 marine life, the aquatic zoo has started purchasing cheaper food for the animals as a way to cut costs, and the animals are not having it.
Usually fed “aji” or horse mackerel, which has increased in price by 20 to 30 percent, the aquarium has had to switch to “saba” or common mackerel instead.
In a video captured by Japanese TV network All-Nippon News (ANN), king penguins at the aquarium are seen refusing to eat the saba, turning their heads away when being fed.
“They take it into their mouths at first, but then they decide they don’t like it and drop it,” aquarium head keeper Hiroki Shimamoto said. “They sense something is off.”
Aquarium workers have had to get creative, mixing the cheaper saba with the pricier aji in a bid to get the penguins to eat the new budget food option.
Meanwhile, people online have been reacting to this hilarious series of events.
“Watching a penguin be unimpressed by his food was not on my 2022 bingo card,” one person wrote.
The aquarium has also been feeling the effects of growing electricity costs but is trying its best to keep visitors from bearing the brunt.
“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 told TV Asahi.