The New Zealand Aquarium recently discovered the loss of an octopus that managed to escape from its tank through a crevice at the top.
Aquarium manager Rob Yarrall says that the escape most likely happened months ago, but that it has only recently come to light after employees noticed the octopus was missing after coming in for work one morning and taking a look inside of the tank. Named Inky, the octopus left behind its fellow tank-mate, blotchy.
“He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean and off he went - didn't even leave us a message,” Yarrall said. "Yes, it's most unusual and yes, we'll be watching the other one."
The smart critter then shuffled about the floor to a nearby 6-inch in diameter drain pipe, which leads straight to the ocean. The surface area that the octopus had to move across to get the drain pipe is estimated to be approximately 8 feet.
Staff found little octopi tracks leading to the drain pipe where the octopus escaped.
Despite being the size of a soccer ball, the octopus has a very flexible body that is capable of squishing down to small form factors. This would have made the escape through the tiny drain pipe close to a no-effort deal for Inky.
Yarrall explains that this is not something he’s ever seen before, but other experts on the creature aren’t surprised because the species is known for not only being intelligent, but also extremely crafty.
The octopus won’t be returning to the aquarium, but it’s unknown of they’ll be looking for a replacement for Inky. Only time will tell!
Source: BBC, NYTimes