Because of the coronavirus pandemic, several establishments were forced to shut down and humans were mandated to practice social distancing and self-quarantine.

For some animals living in zoos, it’s a blessing not to see any more visitors during the day. For some, however, it’s not as great as it sounds to see no one waiting there any longer.

The Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo recently made an unlikely request, an “emergency plea” as they call it, asking people to video call about 300 of their garden eels.

Keepers at the aquarium posted videos on social media, showing eels hiding in burrows whenever people approached. Now, they hope the public can help by video calling to help the animals stay used to people.

The aquarium has about 10,000 marine animals from 400 species. Since the March 1 closure of the aquarium, keepers noticed that the garden eels were hiding when people started to approach.

It becomes difficult for the keepers to inspect the eels to monitor their health and breeding when they hide from people.

Five tablets were set up along the tank where the eels are kept and anyone is invited to call between 10am and 2pm and people can spend only about five minutes before letting someone else have a turn.

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