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New Zealand Octopus Makes Daring Escape From Aquarium

  • VOA News

Inky the octopus is seen prior to his escape in this photo from the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

Inky the octopus is seen prior to his escape in this photo from the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

An octopus has made a bold escape from an aquarium in Napier, New Zealand and is believed to have made it to the Pacific Ocean.

Inky the octopus is thought to have wriggled through a gap in his tank at the National Aquarium in Napier, making his way to a 15-centimeter-wide pipe that led to the ocean.

Rob Yarrall, who manages the aquarium, said Inky’s tank was not fully closed following maintenance.

"He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean and off he went - didn't even leave us a message," he told Radio New Zealand.

Even though Inky’s body is roughly the size of a basketball, octopuses are very soft and able to navigate very tight spaces.

"Even quite a large octopus, they can squeeze down to the size of their mouth which is the only really hard part of their body," said Yarrall. "It's a beak, very much like a parrot beak."

Inky’s tank mate opted to stay, Yarrall said, adding that staff will be keeping a close eye on him.

Inky’s escape actually happened months ago, but the story is just now making global news.

According to The New York Times, Inky’s escape does not surprise those familiar with octopuses as they know the creatures for their “strength, dexterity and intelligence.”

Octopuses are “fantastic escape artists,” Alix Harvey, an aquarist at the Marine Biological Association in England, told the Times.

“They are programmed to hunt prey at night and have a natural inclination to move around at night,” she said.

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