provided to The Santiva Chronicle
In early June, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum’s Giant Pacific Octopus began the natural process of senescence, or end of life. He began refusing food and released spermatophores, a sign of a reproductive phase after which the animal declines over a period of weeks or even days, and their death is imminent.
While he was in the Museum’s care, the Giant Pacific Octopus inspired and educated over 100,000 visitors at the Museum and over 33,000 viewers online. The response from the Islands community and all who saw him in person, as well as the online community who viewed him on social media or at ShellMuseum.org/octocam, has been overwhelmingly supportive. He was beloved and will be missed.
On June 29, the Museum welcomed a new resident Giant Pacific Octopus who is adjusting very well to his new home. Carly Hulse, National Shell Museum Senior Aquarist, has already begun to form a bond with him.
“Following the first couple of sessions of enrichment (stimulation to encourage natural behaviors), Carly has already established a strong bond with the new octopus, who is now active and responsive to her actions,” said Dr. José H. Leal, National Shell Museum Science Director and Curator.
The museum looks forward to introducing the new Giant Pacific Octopus during Aquarist-led Keeper Chats, held at 11 a.m. daily at the museum.