A break for freedom! Octopus escapes from aquarium in effort to return to the sea

An octopus from the National Aquarium of New Zealand has made a brave dash for freedom.

The most popular theory is that Inky the octopus broke out of his tank in the middle of the night and proceeded to slither down a 50 meter drainpipe that led out into the waters of Hawke’s Bay

Inky had been a resident at New Zealand’s National Aquarium in Napier for two years and staff believe that he climbed to the top of his glass tank and snuck across the aquarium floor before clambering into the drainpipe.

National Manager of the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Rob Yarrell explained: “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.”

Another potential scenario is that Inky squeezed himself into a pipe at the top of his tank which led to the drain.

Exhibits Keeper at the National Aquarium, Reiss Jenkinson said he didn’t believe in the theory that Inky could have been stolen, saying: “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?”

Whichever way Inky choose to make his escape, the incident only serves to highlight how intelligent octopuses are as well as their unbelievable ability to fit into extremely small spaces, something made possible by the fact that they have no bones. As seen in the video below, an octopus has even been recorded escaping through a 1 inch diameter hole!

The aquarium has no plans to actively search for Inky, but Yarrell said: “You never know…There’s always a chance Inky could come home to us.”

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Georgina is a member of the Swell UK marketing team and has been keeping tropical fish for a number of years now. Her favourite fish being the stunning, male Siamese Fighting Fish. She is also looking to expand her existing collection to include keeping saltwater fish as well. Her other pets include Bengal cat, Walter, and Labrador and Rottweiler cross, Presley.

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