the lockdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have been hard for everyone, including the garden eels at the sumida aquarium in tokyo. found in warmer parts of the atlantic ocean, these small animals are known to be shy and usually poke their heads from their burrows for feeding while keeping their bodies hidden. but the ones at the sumida aquarium had already adapted to having people around them and would keep their heads out for people to appreciate them. now that the aquarium has no visitors, the eels are again afraid of humans, making it hard for keepers to know if they’re healthy or in distress.
video courtesy of sumida aquarium
(main) image by maksim shutov
to help the garden eels remember what it was like prior to the coronavirus social distancing, the sumida aquarium is asking people around the world to call the animals via FaceTime. the aquarium’s keepers have mounted tablets on the sides of the tanks, and callers are encouraged to talk to the eels, but in a quiet manner so they don’t scare them. the calls will not last more than five minutes and are scheduled during may 3-5, from 10am to 2pm tokyo time. that is may 2-4, from 6pm to 10pm pacific time.
the keepers have set five screens surrounding the eel tanks, and you can call any of these five accounts: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] remember, keep it short, sweet, and don’t shout at the eels or else you’ll scare them.
name: facetime garden eels
project by: sumida aquarium in tokyo