Now that we are in quarantine, videoconferencing has become a way of life for many of us. That includes in Japan, where the folks at the Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo have an unusual request to make.
Like many nonessential businesses, the aquarium closed on March 1, 2020, but it didn’t close to the animals that were inside. This includes some 300 spotted garden eels that are getting used to the privacy and would start to burrow into the sand more and more as staff members were around. It isn’t necessarily unusual for wild garden eels to act this way but those that are captive at the aquarium had become accustomed to seeing humans and will not hide so quickly.
According to Quartz, the change in their behavior has made it difficult for employees to keep tabs on their health. That is when they came up with a plan to get the little creatures used to seeing people around again. It is a three day “face-showing festival” that runs from Sunday, May 3, till Tuesday, May 5. The aquarium would like people to FaceTime with the eels, perhaps calling out to them calmly or waving to them for up to five minutes before they disconnect.
— すみだ水族館【公式】 (@Sumida_Aquarium) April 3, 2020
Since FaceTime is the method you use to connect, you will need an iPhone, iPad, or some iOS device. Five tablets located around the tanks will be used to accept calls during that time. Therefore, there are five different email addresses you can try to chat with the eels.
Lines are open from 10:30 AM till 2:00 PM JST, so if you live in the eastern part of the United States, you will have to call in the night before. In other words, the hours are from Saturday, May 2, till Monday, May 4, between 9:30 PM and 1:00 AM PST.
It might just be the perfect bedtime story for your kids!
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