A theme park in Japan has closed a skating rink featuring frozen fish after receiving complaints that it was being “disrespectful” to animals.
Space World, in the southern city of Kitakyushu, had opened its aquarium-themed attraction earlier this month.
Skaters could glide over 5,000 fish frozen in the rink’s ice.
The park has since encountered a barrage of criticism online, and has apologised. It also said the fish were already dead when they were frozen.
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A statement on Space World’s website said: “We have received a lot of opinions such as ‘Using animals as entertainment and in events is bad’ and ‘Poor fish’. We sincerely apologise.”
General manager Toshimi Takeda told the AFP news agency said the theme park would now hold a memorial ceremony for the fish.
Pictures posted on the park’s Facebook page – which have since been taken down – showed some fish half-submerged in the ice with their mouths open, while others were arranged to form arrows under the ice.The rink also appeared to have sea creatures such as rays and crabs, although the park said these were just enlarged pictures of marine life, according to reports.
The park also said it used only fish that were already dead and unfit for consumption, bought from a wholesale market.
Space World’s Facebook page has been deluged with negative reviews. “What were you people thinking, to use dead fish to decorate a playground?” said one commenter who added the rink was “disrespectful of life”.
Another commenter called the rink “Japan’s shame”.
A park representative told the BBC that the rink had been shut as of Sunday and that they were planning to take the fish out of the rink.
“We are planning to return it to its normal state,” he said, adding that they were unsure when exactly the rink would re-open “but it will be in December”.