Social distancing with a cuteness overload – This Japanese restaurant is using stuffed Capybaras to enforce social distancing norms


With normalcy slowly being instilled in Japan, several precautions are being called for – particularly in the hospital and food industry. And in ensuring this, a zoo in the country has come up with a rather unique way to make sure customers don’t breach social distancing protocols at their ‘forest animal’ restaurant.


Japan’s Izu Shaboten Zoo recently resumed operations after the coronavirus lockdown and is using of stuffed Capybaras to enforce distancing rules at its in-house diner. The cute plush toys have been strategically placed throughout the restaurant’s tables and chairs to keep customer’s company ( in addition to other cuddly toys such as squirrels and giraffes) and make sure that they are seated at a distance for one another.

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In their latest Instagram post, the zoo also referred to social distance as equaling “two adult Capybaras.” The innovative feature is further said to be in line with the zoo’s tradition of hosting open-air baths for their capybaras, who happily enjoy the hot water during wintertime.


Japan’s Izu Shaboten Zoo, however, isn’t the only one to come up with unique ways to keep COVID-19 at bay. A Michelin-starred restaurant called the Inn at ‘Little Washington’ in the D.C area recently placed mannequins on empty chairs and tables to make social distancing less awkward for its customers. Well, the pandemic is sure making us think out of the boxes after all!

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[Via: Designboom]