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Japanese aquarium asks public to video-chat eels who are forgetting humans exist

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An aquarium in Japan has urged the public to video-chat their eels, who are forgetting that humans exist.

The Sumida aquarium in the Tokyo Skytree – Japan’s tallest structure – has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 1.

But from May 3 to May 5, the public will be able to video call the eels as a way to help maintain human contact.

After weeks without the sight of humans, the staff have become concerned about the garden eels, which poke their heads up out of the seabed but retreat into the sand at any sign of a threat.

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The aquarium has said on its website that the “unprecedented situation” has had put the eels as well as other creatures ill at ease around humans – even the keepers who continue to look after them.

The staff also tweeted: “Sea creatures are beginning to forget the existence of human beings due to the unusually long-term closure.

“Garden eels in particular disappear into the sand and hide every time the keepers pass by,” they wrote, before adding that this was making it difficult for staff to monitor their health.

“Here is an urgent request,” the aquarium wrote.

Tokyo Skytree which houses the Sumida aquarium (AFP via Getty Images)

“Could you show your face to our garden eels from your home?”

The plea has attracted a lot of support on Twitter with the trending hashtag #PleaseRememberHumans.

On their website, the event they have called a “face-showing festival”, will run from May 3 to May 5 in the height of Golden Week, a national Japanese holiday.

On the video calls, people will be asked to show their faces, wave and talk to the eels.

But due to the eels’ oversensitive nature, the aquarium has requested that they do not to raise their voices.​

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