A team from the Vancouver Aquarium released their resident Giant Pacific octopus into the ocean last week to help her reproduce.
“We first observed the octopus spending more and more time outside her den, which is a behaviour associated with looking for a mate,” Ruby Banwait, senior aquarium biologist at the Vancouver Aquarium, said in a release Thursday.
“We knew she was fully grown, and seeing eggs in her mantle confirmed that it was her time to reproduce.”
Working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, aquarium staff released the animal into the waters near Bowen Island, about an hour’s drive and ferry ride from Vancouver.
“We wanted to give the octopus the best chance and that included diving with her to the ocean floor, limiting her exposure to open water where octopuses are most vulnerable to predation, and finding a suitable habitat for her,” said Banwait.
Giant Pacific octopuses are believed to be one of the largest and longest-living octopus species on Earth, the aquarium said.
They live throughout the Pacific Ocean, from California to Alaska, and west to the Aleutian Islands and Japan.
Another young female octopus is now living at the Vancouver Aquarium. Staff gave her a Go-Pro camera, and the below video is the result: