Last month, fans around the world mourned the death of Grape-kun the otaku Humboldt penguin. His attachment to a cutout of Kemono Friends character Hululu drew visitors to Tobu Zoo, and a temporary shrine was erected for fans to express their sadness.
Since Grape-kun’s death on October 12th, fans have opened various crowdfunding campaigns to commission a statue of Grape-kun and donate it to Tobu Zoo. However, the zoo itself would like fans to stop. The posted a statement on their website, saying:
“There have been several mentions on social media and elsewhere of donations being solicited to commission a statue of Grape-kun, a Humboldt penguin who lived at our zoo. However, please be aware that we have not agreed to accept such a statue, nor are we involved in any plans to produce a statue or collect funds for its creation.”
At least one campaign raised $1,247 before being suspended after Tobu Zoo’s statement. Instead of donating funds to campaigns for a statue that may never happen, Grape-kun fans are better off marathoning Kemono Friends.