Smart Octopus is Escape Artist
While the National Aquarium of New Zealand may have nursed him back to health, Inky the octopus didn’t intend to stay for long. The multi-limbed daredevil apparently pulled off a elaborate escape that seems just made for the movies.
The marine animal, a common New Zealand octopus, came to the aquarium back in 2014. The newly-minted “Inky” had been caught in a crayfish pot and suffered scarring and injuries. But after resting up and getting used his new home (and his tank mate “Blotchy”), the cephalopod put its mastermind to work and hatched an escape plan.
After maintenance workers left a small gap at the top of the enclosure, the octopus managed to sneak out and cross the floor (as evidenced by visible suction cup prints the next day) to reach a six-inch drain pipe, which ultimately lead to the nearby Hawke’s Bay. While the daring adventure happened a couple months ago, aquarium staff just released the information this week to an enthusiastic response:
Although most of us are impressed by Inky’s ingenuity, marine biologists aren’t that surprised. “Octopuses are fantastic escape artists,” aquarist Alix Harvey told the New York Times. “They have a complex brain, excellent eyesight, and research suggests they have an ability to learn and from mental maps.”
In fact, there’s a famous tale from England’s Brighton Aquarium that’s just as sneaky: One octopus managed to slip out of its tank to an adjoining enclosure, eat one of the unfortunate lumpfish, and then return to its spot without anyone noticing.