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Picky penguins at Japanese aquarium are refusing to eat 'cheap fish' after budget cuts

They know what they like.

penguins video, penguins eating

"That's a no from me, thanks."

Look, who among us can go back once we’ve acquired a taste for the finer things in life?

Certainly not the penguins at Japan’s Hakone-en Aquarium. CNN reported that recent inflation forced the zoo to switch to cheaper food. But try to explain inflation to a snobby penguin.

An aquarium keeper explained to CNN that the diet shift hadn’t changed drastically, only going to a slightly different type of mackerel fish. Still, it was enough to make the Hakone-en’s residents literally turn up their noses in hilarious fashion.


A video posted to YouTube shows the bird keepers making their best efforts to feed the reluctant penguins, only to be met with a distinct look of NOPE. They won’t even look at the offered fish. Their message is clear: Give me fancy mackerel, or give me death!



The penguins aren’t alone in the hunger strike. Hakone-en’s otters also joined the resistance, refusing to eat discounted oysters. One sniff, then bam, back in the water they go. I mean, one often pays a hefty price later after eating cheap sushi, so can anyone really blame them?

Luckily, the aquarium will be getting creative in their feeding methods. The keeper told CNN that both the penguins and otters were more willing to eat the cheaper alternative (saba) if it were mixed with the good stuff (aji). Kind of reminds me of my college days, sprinkling truffle salt onto Top Ramen. Ah, the compromises we make.

This way, penguins and otters get their needs met, without the zoo having to raise its ticket prices. And though we can’t wait for our animal friends to get back to a more indulgent cuisine, we thank them for providing us with a truly adorable (and ultra relatable) video.

Watch below:

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