In a well executed escape, Inky the octopus has done a runner from the National Aquarium in New Zealand. A lovable rogue of a cephalopod, Inky will be sorely missed by both staff and visitors.
The search of the aquarium was curtailed after a trail of water was found from his tank to a drain in the building. Luckily for Inky, the drainpipe – which is about fifty meters long – went directly to Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.
Some are asking was this just luck? Probably not, as octopuses are known as the Houdinis of the ocean. So it seems Inky’s escape was inevitable. In addition, some investigators have an inkling that Inky had inside information, possibly from the adjoining tank of lobsters.
Undoubtedly the loose lid on his tank certainly helped. However one huge advantage for inky is that the only hard part of an octopus’ body is their beak. This means they can squeeze themselves into cracks and crevices, or in this case, a slim metal grate.
Octopuses are also smart, although exactly how smart is hard to quantify. They have a highly complex nervous system only partly located in the brain. Much of it is in their tentacles, which can do extraordinary things.
They even know when they’re touching their other parts, as they can chemically detect their own skin. This ability has certainly saved many octopuses from ‘self-sucking’ – never a good look when hoping to mate.
Our New Zealand correspondent Ernie Finkster visited the aquarium and had a whale of a time. He said the absence of Inky was not a big deal, as there was plenty to admire. “The eels were excellent, lobsters luscious and the greeting I got from the groper was great”, he said.
It seems unlikely the long arm of the law will catch Inky now, and besides, he has done nothing wrong. Here at The Fox Gazette we feel sure he would have squeaked “so long suckers”, as he slid through the bars into the brine to freedom.