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Image: Izu Shaboten Zoo

LOOK: Restaurant in Japan uses cute stuffed animals for social distancing

May 25th, 2020

One restaurant in Japan is turning to adorable stuffed animals for a fun way to observe social distancing as it welcomes customers again.

Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka had to close down due to the coronavirus pandemic but has since re-opened on May 16.

The zoo is filling its forest animal restaurant with stuffed versions of wild animals, including the capybara, as shared by blogger Johnny Waldman (@johnny_suputama) on Friday, May 22. The pictures are from Twitter user @chacha0rca.

The cafe at Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan uses stuffed Capybaras to enforce social distancing

(Photos by @chacha0rca) pic.twitter.com/g15HTL2IG0

— Spoon & Tamago (@Johnny_suputama) May 21, 2020

The capybara has a special place in the natural park, as it is known for allowing the animal to go in open-air hot baths during the winter.

Capybaras in a hot bath

Capybaras in a hot bath. Image: Izu Shaboten Zoo

Among the stuffed animals that will join customers are red pandas and giraffes. The table layout of the restaurant has also been adjusted so customers can maintain distance from each other, the zoo said on its site on May 20.

The Japanese zoo is observing social distancing with cute stuffed capybaras and red pandas. Image: Izu Shaboten Zoo

It also assured customers that tables, chairs and the stuffed animals are disinfected.

The zoo’s move comes as restaurants around the world adapt to ensuring customers keep a safe space between one another. One restaurant in Virginia, United States, is using mannequins dressed in 1940s outfits to fill up space. Meanwhile, a cafe in Germany hands out pool-noodle hats to customers so they may practice social distancing. JB

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