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 Shell Museum’s care, the Giant Pacific Octopus inspired and educated over 100,000 visitors in person and over 33,000 viewers online through the museum’s unique Octocam. He was beloved and will be missed.
On June 29th, the Museum welcomed a new resident Giant Pacific Octopus who is adjusting very well to his new home.
Senior Aquarist Carly Hulse has already begun to form a bond with him. Following the initial sessions of “enrichment” — the term used to describe stimulation to encourage natural behaviors — the new octopus is now active and responsive to Carly’s actions, according to the museum’s Science Director Dr. José H. Leal.
The Shell Museum looks forward to introducing the new Giant Pacific Octopus during their Keeper Chats, held daily at the Museum at 11am.
For more information, visit ShellMuseum.org or call 239-395-2233.