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Aquatic creatures get taste of autumn in special events at east Japan amusement park

An Asian small-clawed otter is seen searching for wakasagi smelt in a pile of leaves at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, in this photo provided by the amusement park.
A capybara is seen being fed a carrot at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, in this photo provided by the amusement park.

YOKOHAMA -- An amusement park south of Tokyo is packed with people enjoying Japan's splendid autumn season by feeding capybaras sweet potatoes and maple leaf-shaped carrots, as part of a special program running until Nov. 15.

    Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama's Kanazawa Ward makes the most of the charms of the sea, islands, and living creatures in this seasonal event. At the park's "aqua museum" aquarium, visitors can enjoy watching Asian small-clawed otters digging for wakasagi freshwater smelt -- their favorite food -- buried in large piles of fallen leaves. The sessions are held twice a day. There are also sea animal shows including performances by dolphins and false killer whales, as well as an event where polar bears are given autumn treats like pumpkin.

    A new "animal performance" program where Cape penguins, South American sea lions, and other creatures put on stages close to visitors will also be held in the marine park's "interactive lagoon."

    Sea Paradise is checking all visitors' temperatures with thermographic cameras and keeping every other seat empty at shows as coronavirus infection prevention measures. A park representative commented, "We hope visitors have fun while feeling safe and get into an autumn mood through the animals." For inquiries, please contact Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise at 045-788-8888 (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Shotaro Kinoshita, Yokohama Bureau)

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