With people staying indoors due to Coronavirus pandemic, a zoo in Japan reportedly said that the absence of human visitors seems to be stressing out the animals in captivity. According to the authorities at Tokyo’s Sumida Zoo, the eels have been affected by the lack of human ‘interaction’ amid the COVID-19 lockdown and hence, they have reportedly asked people to video call the eels to give them a sense of normalcy.
As the zoo has been closed to visitors since March 1, the authorities discovered that after months of isolation from humans, the eels have started to behave oddly. In a video posted on Twitter, one can see that every time a zoo staffer went past the glass boxes in which the eels were housed, the creatures would burrow into the sand or hide elsewhere.
The zoo authorities reportedly believe that the odd behaviour displayed by the eels is the result of isolation. While speaking to an international media outlet, the authorities said that the eels had got unused to the company or presence of humans in the past two months. They even informed that this was first noted earlier in April. The authorities said that the garden eels are generally vigilant creatures and often take to the sen bed for self-defence or for seeking food.
However, in a bid to fix the problem, the zoo authorities have now reportedly initiated a three-day ‘face-showing festival’. They have asked humans to video call the eels to remind them of the old times. As per reports, the festival will begin on May 3 and the purpose of the ‘festival’ will be to remind the sea creatures of the existence of humans.
People interested in the festival can call the dedicated number of the zoo and book one of the two-minute slots available. The callers will be allowed to view the eels and speak to them, but not loudly.