Eel-o from the Outside


Eel-o from the Outside

The Coronavirus crisis has been great thing for wildlife (and an even better thing for wanderlust instagram accounts who now get to post pictures of swans in the Venice canals.) Unfortunately, it’s a very different story for animals in captivity during the crisis. Perhaps none are suffering more than the eels in Japan’s Sumida Aquarium. 


These eels face a terrible fate. It’s not a food shortage or a polluted tank. It’s something even worse: continuous FaceTiming with random humans. 


Since the eels don’t see aquarium visitors regularly anymore, zoo keepers worry they’ll that forget humans exist. (Although it seems more likely that they’ll concoct elaborate conspiracy theories about how humans are sick / dead / partying on a boat off the coastal city of Wonsan). 


To remedy this terrible situation, they’re arranging FaceTime calls between the eels and members of the general public. At first they were worried the eels might not understand how to FaceTime, but once they saw that Joe Biden could do it, they were all set. 


The aquarium wrote on Twitter, “Here is an urgent request…Could you show your face to our garden eels from your home?” Which is eerily similar to the wording used by spam accounts asking for nudes.


The eel FaceTimes are set to occur between May 3rd and May 5th. The aquarium is calling it a “face-showing festival” (which is also what everyone is calling Mike Pence’s most recent tour of the Mayo Clinic where he was the only one not wearing a mask). 


The aquarium has asked that people on the FaceTime calls “show their faces” (which was the incidentally opposite of the advice everyone gave Mike Pence at the Mayo Clinic). 


People are also being encouraged to “wave and talk to the eels.” What people are not being encouraged to do is get a bunch of celebrity friends together and sing a really condescending version of “Imagine” for the eels. They saw how that worked out the first time. 


The Face-Showing Festival has already attracted a lot of support on social media, and the aquarium is asking people to use the hashtag, “#PleaseRememberHumans.” Usually they reserve #remember hashtags for victims of natural disasters or mass shootings. But applying it to the short term memory loss of eels in captivity seems appropriate too. 

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