Indonesian man grieves as father fries expensive arowana pet fish for lunch

Imagine the shock of learning that your beloved pet fish has been cooked for the delicious enjoyment of your family. That’s what happened to Bayu, a man from Central Java’s Sukoharjo regency, whose recent tragedy of losing his arowana has drawn sympathy from many in a nation obsessed with the prized pet fish.

Bayu, who works in the industrial city of Cikarang in Bekasi regency, bought the fish at the Jatinegara market in East Jakarta, which is known for its decorative fish section. Recently, while Bayu was away from home, his brother sent him photos of the fish as it was being prepared and later fried by his father, who decided to have it for a feast without his permission. 

“My arowana was fried by my father. I bought it in Jatinegara, aged around four years and it had accompanied me in Cikarang for two years. I brought it home [to Sukoharjo] but my father didn’t take care of it because he was lazy and ended up frying it,” Bayu told community account @solokini via DM, as written in the caption above.

The story of Bayu’s arowana has circulated widely on the internet, followed with various reports by local media outlets since last weekend. The arowana, which is one of the most popular and expensive pet fish in Indonesia, didn’t come cheap.

“I bought the golden arowana fish for IDR800,000 (US$56.70) at Jatinegara. It was already expensive then, [and] my fish could have been sold for around IDR2 million (US$141.7),” Bayu said.

The fish grew larger after about two years, prompting Bayu to take it to his parents’ home in Sukoharjo, hoping that it could enjoy a bigger fish tank and be properly taken care of. As time went by, however, Bayu said his father neglected taking care of the arowana and even fed it lizards, even though arowana usually feed on crickets and centipedes. 

“During its time there, my fish wasn’t taken care of until it got cross-eyed. I had its eyes operated, alhamdulillah (thank God) it got healthy again. Then I got the news that my father fried the fish,” Bayu said.

Bayu added that he has accepted his fish’s fate, even though he couldn’t bear to imagine his father devouring his beloved arowana. Thankfully, he said no other family members joined his father for the arowana meal.

“I’ve let it go. If I imagine [my father eating my arowana] I feel like throwing up,” Bayu said.


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