A Belgian hotel has attracted attention for offering to rent lonely guests a fish for €3.50 a night.
The Hotel Charleroi Airport in Gosselies, near Brussels South Cherleroi Airport, is a four-star property with rooms starting at £69.
The fish friend programme caught the imagination of the internet after radio producer Michelle Cook tweeted a picture of the fishbowl and sign. The caption read: “My friend is staying in a hotel in Belgium. They've offered her the option of renting a fish for the night, in case she's lonely.”
The missive has been re-tweeted more than 10,000 times with commenters divided on the offer. Some people were enthusiastic and stated they would definitely book the fish, while others reacted angrily, saying hiring out animals was abusive and raising concerns about the size of the bowl.
Hotel manager David Dillen told The Independent that the fish rental service has been running for several years and is popular with guests.
He said: “We started a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do.
“It’s brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week.”
Dillen also put any concerns about animal cruelty to rest by explaining that the fish are well looked after. He added: “I can also tell you that we take very good care of our fish; they have been with us for over four years now, so if they were not taken care of they would have died a long time ago.
“They also have a big fish-tank in the housekeeping department, with a shelter, oxygen and plants. When we think it’s necessary, we put them there for a few days.”
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