The lovable Humboldt Penguin, Grape-kun, has left an indelible mark in the anime community. The penguin fell in love with his Kemono Friends counterpart, Hululu, and captured the hearts of a lot of people. And even with his passing, the world made plenty of tributes for the late penguin.
Because of his recent passing, several people have begun crowdfunding efforts to erect a statue of the penguin. However, it seems that the Tobu Zoo won’t be accepting any statues of Grape-kun as of the moment. In a statement from their official website, the zoo’s staff denied involvement with the crowdfunding efforts.
“There have been several mentions on social media and in other places of donations being solicited to make a statue of Grape-kun, a Humboldt penguin who lived at our zoo. However, please be aware that our organization has not agreed to accept such a statue, nor is it involved in any plans to produce a statue or collect funds for its creation.”
One crowdfunding campaign already raised US$1,000 dollars to make a statue of both Grape-kun and Hululu. But, as the zoo’s website has revealed, it looks like they won’t be accepting it. As Sora News pointed out:
Tobu Zoo’s statement may sound a little standoffish, especially considering all the publicity Grape-kun brought the facility, but it’s also worth remembering that the Kemono Friends promotion didn’t start until last spring, meaning Grape-kun was only in the spotlight for a few months, and so the management may or may not want to dedicate space on its grounds to a permanent memorial.
There is also the fact that several unscrupulous individuals may use Grape-kun’s passing for their own gains. These people might open a crowdfunding campaign as a scam to profit from the situation. However, things may change in the future, as the statement doesn’t really say they aren’t open to the idea. For the moment, we still don’t know if management will change their minds in the future. Right now, we can always remember Grape-kun in our hearts, as well as visit Tobu Zoo and support the other animals.
Rest in peace Grape-kun! You will live forever in hour hearts!
Source: Sora News 24