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Ice Rink Featuring 5,000 Dead Fish In Japan Closes After Massive Criticism

A theme park in Japan was forced to close its skating rink that featured thousands of frozen fish after it received complaints that the concept was “disrespectful” to animals, the BBC reports.

Space World, an attraction in the southern city of Kitakyushu, opened its aquarium-themed arena earlier this November. The ice rink featured 25 kinds of fish, amounting to some 5,000 frozen fish, that skaters could glide over. It was billed as the “Ice Aquarium” that was supposed to be “an attraction never heard about,” according to the New York Times.

However, the park garnered an onslaught of online criticism, and has had to issue an apology. Space World also clarified that the fish were already dead when preserved on ice. A statement on its 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.

Photos posted on Space World’s Facebook page – which have since been taken down – showed fish half-submerged in the ice with their mouths open, forming shapes like arrows and circles. The ice also appeared to feature sea creatures like crabs and rays, although the park said these were only enlarged pictured of marine life.

Space World further explained that the fish were bought from a wholesale market, and they chose those that were already dead and not fit for consumption.

The park’s Facebook page has been deluged with negative comments. Some users have called out the use of “dead fish to decorate a playground” as unthinkable, while another said the rink is “Japan’s shame.”

A representative for the attraction told the BBC that the rink has been closed as of Sunday, and that the management would be taking the fish out. “We are planning to return it to its normal state,” he added, but was unsure as to when the ice skating rink would re-open. He did say it would be “in December.”

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