There’s a new resident at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station.
She can be a little shy, but if you catch her on the right day she’s known to be pretty entertaining.
Three weeks ago, the station happily welcomed a female giant Pacific octopus.
“The octopus has adapted well and started feeding within a few days of being relocated,” station manager Brian Kingzett told The NEWS Friday.
“We are feeding it live crab which is important to keep it engaged with hunting behaviour. Last week we started giving it puzzles to solve by putting a crab inside a jar that the octopus then had to figure out how to open which it has.”
Kingzett said the eight-armed marine critter was collected by Union Bay Diving from one of the anchors that holds down the station’s intake pipelines.
She’s currently being housed in a 22,700 litre tank donated by Pacific Shores Resort earlier this year located in the station’s downstairs classroom as part of their “coolest classroom project.”
According to National Geographic, the giant Pacific octopus grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species. The largest ever recorded was nine meters long and weighed more than 600 pounds.
Kingzett said they’ll release this one back into the ocean before it outgrows its living quarters.
“We will keep the octopus for four to six months,” he said. “When we determine that it is getting too large for the tank we will let it go.”
Kingzett said the station staff is following strict animal care guidelines for octopus care as set out by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
The VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact 250-740-6611.