An aquarium in Japan has urged the public to video chat with eels as they are becoming increasingly nervous around keepers due to the lack of visitors. Tara Pilkington reports.
Keepers at Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo are concerned that their garden eels are starting to forget what humans look like!
While garden eels are typically sensitive and wary by nature, the 300 of them living in one of the aquarium’s tanks had grown accustomed to human visitors that they rarely hid when visitors approached.
However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keepers are worried that the eels may start to see any human visitors as a threat because of this lack of contact. So, to combat this, the aquarium is asking for people to get in touch and take part in calming video calls with the animals.
The aquarium, which has been closed since the start of March, has become a largely human-free environment. On Twitter, Suminda Aquarium has said that this unprecedented situation means that apart from the keepers, many animals aren’t receiving any human contact.
“They don’t see humans, except keepers, and they have started forgetting about humans”
The aquarium also added: “Garden eels in particular disappear into the sand and hide every time the keepers pass by”, which is making it increasingly difficult for the keepers to monitor their health.
In an official statement from their Twitter, the aquarium wrote an urgent request and announced an event they have called a ‘face-showing festival’. This will involve five tablets being set up to face the eels tank, with users able to connect via their iPhones or iPads via the FaceTime app.
The festival is scheduled to take place on 3-5 May, during the height of the Golden Week holiday.
For more information, visit: https://www.sumida-aquarium.com/