Hokkaido zoo sees overwhelming demand for unique souvenirs.

Capsule toy machines aren’t hard to find in Japan, but they’re especially common at zoos. It makes sense, since the variations-on-a-theme nature of randomized gacha goods is a pretty low barrier when the machine is stocked with animal-related items like miniature figurines.

But this month Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo installed two very unusual capsule toy machines on its grounds, with prizes such as tufts of polar bear fur.

The machines are called the Maruyama Zoo Support Gacha, and each was stocked with four different items. In the Fur machine, 500-yen (US$4) would get you a capsule containing either polar bear fur, Hokkaido snow rabbit fur, strands of hair from a Shetland pony’s forelock, or shed skin from a Japanese rat snake.

▼ You can see a vial of the snow rabbit fur in the video here.

True to their name, the Maruyama Zoo Support Gacha’s proceeds will be put towards improvements for the animal’s habitats. And don’t worry, Maruyama Zoo isn’t going around yanking out fistfuls of fur to stock the machines. Instead, fur, hair, and skin were all collected samples that fell off of the zoos’ animals naturally as part of spring shedding or was removed during necessary grooming.

The second machine carried the Item collection, with materials from various animals’ enclosures. Also priced at 500 yen per turn, your capsule would contain scraps of cloth from the sun bear or chimpanzee habitats, sand walked on by an Asian elephant, or chips from a snow leopard’s scratching board.

You might notice the descriptions of the capsule contents are all in the past tense. That’s because even though the machines only went in to operation on Wednesday, their stock was entirely sold out by Friday afternoon, as guests were eager to get their hands on these very unique souvenirs.

Sources: STV via Livedoor News, Sapporo City
Top image: Sapporo City
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