Have you ever thought of dining with the company of penguins? An Indonesian restaurant recently installed Humboldt penguins into its aquarium so diners can watch them while they eat. The penguins are now proving very popular with the clientele, but animal rights activists are protesting. They say penguins belong in the wild, not in an aquarium, and restaurants should be selling food instead of animal shows.
A seafood restaurant in an upscale West Jakarta shopping mall is the new talk of the town. Pingoo restaurant opened its doors last December with a large aquarium on its back wall. Besides serving seafood, it has 6 Humboldt penguins for customers to look at while having their meal. The South-American native penguins are on loan from an Indonesian safari park. The Jakarta Aquarium project that operates the restaurant claims the penguins on display are third-generation Indonesian-bred and well accustomed to the country's warmer climate.
==LEO LUMANTO, Jakarta Aquarium Spokesperson==
Pingoo restaurant is a part of the Jakarta Aquarium project, and we decided to open the restaurant first ahead of the official opening of the Jakarta Aquarium. Our general concept is edutainment, which is to educate and entertain the public.
As part of its education programme, the restaurant allows visitors to feed the penguins twice a day. A group of 2 or 3 people are permitted to enter the aquarium during each feeding session that lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Many guests come to the restaurant with children fascinated by penguins.
==DEWI JOHAN, restaurant guest==
I think this is something positive. We live in the city and we don't often see penguins and what they look like. Children may recognise penguins from books they read, but they may not have had the opportunity to see penguins in the flesh.
The restaurant claims that the aquarium adheres to the health and safety guidelines set by the International Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The aquarium has a temperature between 18 to 25 degree Celsius with rough beach rocks to replicate the natural South American coastal habitat of the Humboldt penguins.
==LEO LUMANTO, Jakarta Aquarium spokesperson==
We always monitor the acidity level of the pool in the aquarium. The life support system of the aquarium is separate from the mall, equipped with 24-hour electricity and 24-hour cleaning of the pool.
Earlier this year, animal rights activists held a protest against the restaurant.
==FANNY WIRATMADJA, Animal Care Society member==
The restaurant has taken and kidnapped penguins that belong in the wild. They should have lived in a more proper environment and not inside an aquarium at a restaurant in a shopping mall.
Despite the protest, the restaurant has continued to attract more guests who come to enjoy the sight of the penguins.
TRANSLATED BY：JESSICA OY
JAKARTA RESTAURANT FEATURES PENGUINS AS AN EDUCATION PROGRAM|印尼企鵝餐廳人氣旺 動保人士批最壞示範
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