You’ll Never Take His Freedom: Clever Octopus Escapes Aquarium and Returns to the Sea

Life in an aquarium seems pretty nice. A carefully maintained tank, plenty of food and a safe habitat…what more could a critter want? One New Zealand octopus wasn’t satisfied, however, and made a daring nighttime escape.

Inky, a common New Zealand octopus, had been captured from a reef and transported to the National Aquarium of New Zealand, where he spent a few years seemingly happy. He was friendly with people and his tank mate, another octopus named Blotchy, though keepers noted that he was particularly intelligent. It turns out he was simply biding his time.

One morning, keepers discovered that Inky was missing from his tank. They didn’t have to do too much investigating, however, as he’d left evidence behind in the form of tracks. Inky had managed to escape from his tank and find a drain that led out to the ocean. His natural slime kept him moist and comfortable as he used the suckers on his tentacles to pull himself along the floor before making his escape.

The staff at the National Aquarium weren’t terribly surprised. Octopus escapes have occurred elsewhere. Since only their beaks are inflexible, these remarkable cephalopods can squeeze through the tiniest of openings. There is also a significant body of evidence showing that octopuses are intelligent creatures capable of learning and problem solving. One of Inky’s British cousins once made headlines for sneaking out of his tank at night to eat fish in neighboring tanks, always being sure to sneak back into his own spot before his keepers arrived in the morning.

As for Inky? No one is quite sure where he is, but keepers are optimistic about his survival. He has all the necessary skills to thrive out there since he grew up in the wild, and the drain led directly out to the ocean.

Octopuses are remarkable creatures, which Inky showed off during his surprising escape. He heard the call of the sea, and now you can too with this charming sterling necklace.

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