Social distancing has been tough for everyone, including a group of spotted garden eels at an aquarium in Japan.
These cute aquatic creatures are naturally shy and mostly hide in the sand, but over the years, the 300 spotted garden eels at Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium have gotten used to humans peeking at them behind the glass.
Since the start of the outbreak, though, and the ensuing lockdown, the aquarium has been closed to the public and it seems that the eels have started to forget what’s it like to have us as part of their surroundings.
Now whenever the aquarium staff comes around, the eels act especially shy and bury themselves in the sand. According to the aquarium, this hidden state is concerning — not only because the eels are starting to revert back to their cautious wild nature, but also because hiding from humans makes it difficult for keepers to know if the eels are healthy.
In hopes of reminding the eels what their human-filled, pre-quarantine lives were like, the aquarium announced a “Face Show Festival,” during which people can call in to meet the eels via FaceTime. The aquarium plans to install five tablets around the eels’ tank and give people the opportunity to virtually keep them company from May 3 to May 5.
If you want to take part in the efforts to re-familiarize these shy garden eels with humans, the aquarium asks that you keep things quiet on the FaceTime call. So if you find yourself bored in the house over the next few days, pick up the phone and help these adorable creatures by giving them a call.