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 Museum’s care, the Giant Pacific Octopus inspired and educated over 100,000 visitors at the Museum and over 33,000 viewers online. The response from the Islands community and all who saw him in person, as well as the online community who viewed him on social media or at ShellMuseum.org/octocam, has been overwhelmingly supportive. 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. Carly Hulse, National Shell Museum Senior Aquarist, has already begun to form a bond with him.
“Following the first couple of sessions of enrichment (stimulation to encourage natural behaviors), Carly has already established a strong bond with the new octopus, who is now active and responsive to her actions,” said Dr. José H. Leal, National Shell Museum Science Director and Curator.
The Museum looks forward to introducing the new Giant Pacific Octopus during Aquarist-led Keeper Chats, held daily at the Museum at 11am. ShellMuseum.org
About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only accredited museum in the United States with a primary focus on shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit ShellMuseum.org or call (239) 395-2233.