5-speed listening (Aquariums - Level 3)

Aquarium asks people to video-call lonely eels



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An aquarium in Japan is asking people to help a group of eels that are getting lonely. The Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo has several tanks of garden eels. The creatures are usually very cautious and go into their holes in the sand when someone passes. However, the Sumida Aquarium eels are used to seeing visitors and stay above their holes so people can see them. The aquarium has closed because of the coronavirus emergency and staff are worried the eels are getting lonely. A staff member said the eels are forgetting what humans look like. She wants people to make video calls to the eels. The staff put special tablets in front of the eel tanks so people could make video calls to them.

The lack of visitors to the aquarium means the eels have become very shy. This could make them stressed when visitors start returning after the aquarium reopens. The coronavirus emergency has also made it difficult for staff to check on the eels' health because they are now staying in their holes in the sand. The aquarium tweeted: "They aren't seeing humans so they are forgetting about us....Here is an urgent request - Could you show your face to our garden eels from your home?" The aquarium wants to remind the eels that "humans are friendly". It has organised a three-day event called a "face-showing festival". The public is being asked to make video calls but can only use Apple devices to do so.

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