A Japanese amusement park has come under fire for freezing 5,000 fish in its skating rink in a bid to pull in crowds.
Space World, located in Kitakyushu city, were hoping to give visitors the illusion of skating above the sea in their new Ice Aquarium attraction, local media reported.
It opened on November 12, but was forced to close in two weeks after the company received a barrage of criticism from social media users.
Detractors slammed the exhibit as “cruel”, “disgusting and “disrespectful of life”, the Japan Times reported.
On Sunday, Space World apologised to the public in a statement released on its website.
“We deeply apologise to the people who felt uncomfortable over the Aquarium of Ice event. In accordance, we have stopped the event from today.”
A Space World representative told the Asahi Shimbun the company sourced about 25 different types of small fish from a market.
“We purchased fish hauled and sold dead at a market through a dealer,” said the official.
“Misunderstanding spread on the internet that the fish were frozen alive, but that was not the case.”
The company embedded photos in the ice for larger fish such as whale sharks, reported Mainichi.
Space World is considering holding a memorial service for the fish.
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