One octopus succeeded in a daring escape from New Zealand’s national aquarium by squeezing through a tiny drainpipe and escaping to the open sea.
In 2015, New Zealand Legally Recognised Animals as ‘Sentient’ Beings. It seems the animals are showing their innate wisdom and creative genius to get back to their native waters.
excerpt from an article by Eleanor Ainge Roy
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In scenes reminiscent of Finding Nemo, Inky – a common New Zealand octopus – made his dash for freedom after the lid of his tank was accidentally left slightly ajar.
The octopus made a brazen escape by breaking out of its tank, slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe and disappearing into the sea.
The Great Escape
Staff believe that in the middle of the night, while the aquarium was deserted, Inky clambered to the top of his glass enclosure, down the side of the tank and travelled across the floor of the aquarium.
Rob Yarrell, national manager of the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, said:
“Octopuses are famous escape artists. But Inky really tested the waters here. I don’t think he was unhappy with us, or lonely, as octopus are solitary creatures. But he is such a curious boy. He would want to know what’s happening on the outside. That’s just his personality.”
How It Was Done
One theory is that Inky slid across the aquarium floor – a journey of three or four metres – and then, sensing freedom was at hand, into a drainpipe that led directly to the sea.
The drainpipe was 50 metres long, and opened on to the waters of Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
Another possible escape route could have involved Inky squeezing into an open pipe at the top of his tank, which led under the floor to the drain.
Those Left Behind
“When we came in the next morning and his tank was empty, I was really surprised,” said Yarrell, who has not launched a search for Inky.
“The staff and I have been pretty sad. But then, this is Inky, and he’s always been a bit of a surprise octopus.”
Reiss Jenkinson, exhibits keeper at the National Aquarium, said he was absolutely certain Inky was not “taken” or “stolen”.
“I understand the nature of octopus behaviour very well,” he said. “I have seen octopus on boats slip through bilge pumps. And the security here is too tight for anyone to take Inky, and why would they?”
Because octopuses have no bones they are able to fit into extremely small spaces, and have been filmed squeezing through gaps the size of coins. They are also understood to be extremely intelligent and capable of using tools.
According to Yarrell, Inky – who is about the size of a rugby ball – was an “unusually intelligent” octopus. “He was very friendly, very inquisitive, and a popular attraction here. We have another octopus, Blotchy, but he is smaller than Inky, and Inky had the personality.”
A great escape, by an octopus named Inky
source – the guardian