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Japanese aquarium hosts 'face-showing festival' for eels
Garden eels disappear into the sand and hide every time the keepers pass by.

The eels have started to forget about humans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Japanese aquarium is hosting a 'face-showing festival' for its spotted garden eels, which have grown shy of humans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toyko's Sumida Aquarium was forced to close because of the crisis, but the lack of visitors appear to be having a profound effect on its underwater residents.

It says that a lack of human interaction has made it difficult for staff at the aquarium to check the health of the eels, which dive back down into the sand whenever someone walks past their tank.

It is also worried that once the aquarium reopens, the sudden flood of visitors could stress the eels out.

The aquarium tweeted: "They don't see humans, except keepers, and they have started forgetting about humans. Garden eels, in particular, disappear into the sand and hide every time the keepers pass by. Here is an urgent request - could you show your face to our garden eels from your home?"

The 'face-showing festival' is taking place 3-5 May and people are being asked to dial into one of five tablets that have been placed in front of the tank using the information available on the Aquarium's website.

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Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk