First Graders Mail Drawings to Lonely Fish in Aquariums

The last few months have been surreal, to say the least. With stores, restaurants, malls, movie theaters, and countless other places closed to the public due to the pandemic, we’re all adjusting to this new way of life – at least for the time being.

While we all miss meeting friends at bars and restaurants and getting our hair cut, one thing you might not have thought about is zoos and aquariums. These homes for animals are devoid of visitors these days, and while some animals like it just fine, others miss their human friends.

Chang, the grouper fish, for example, loves seeing guests at the Cairns Aquarium in Queensland, Australia. Now, you’re probably asking how fish show they are depressed. The answer, surprisingly, is similar to how humans show sadness.

Workers in the aquarium said Chang started hiding in dark corners of his tank shortly after they had to close down. The usually friendly, lively fish all but disappeared. He even stopped eating for a while.

“I think people see Chang as being emblematic of the loneliness that can happen to people and animals during this crisis,” aquarium chief executive, Daniel Leipnik, told ABC news in an interview.

As the news spread about Chang the lonely Grouper fish, first-graders at Torbanlea State School felt the need to do something for the poor guy. His story resonated with the kids, who were also struggling with being apart from their friends.

The aquarium received an unexpected care package from the first graders, full of drawings and a sweet note addressed to “Chang the Lonely Grouper.”

The note reads: When we couldn’t come to school, some of us were feeling gloomy too. Things will get back to normal, everything will be alright and you will be joyful again soon, like us. That way, when you and your friends swim by, you will see people outside and you will feel happy again.

Now, this would be a sweet story in and of itself, but what makes it even better is Chang’s reaction. As the staff began laying out the drawings next to his tank, Chang immediately swam up and took an interest. He even started eating again!

It’s amazing what a little bit of kindness can do, especially for those who are extra lonely and feel forgotten during these trying times. Take a few moments to think of how you can brighten someone’s day today!

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Hailing from the great state of Iowa, Jess currently lives on the eastside of Seattle where she loves to write, crochet, upcycle, redecorate her tiny apartment and play with her cat. Oh, and her husband lives there too.
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