Editorial: Inky's great escape goes viral

By Roger Moroney

1 comment
Inky's escape from its tank at National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier has made headlines around the world.
Inky's escape from its tank at National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier has made headlines around the world.

The remarkable escape of Inky the octopus from what had been his luxury unit at the National Aquarium has made him a star ... not that he knows it.

If he achieved his ambition of returning to the ocean nearby then he will have a lot to say to his new sea-mates, and will most certainly be invited to provide an interview on CNN - Cephalopods Nautical Notices.

The great escape went, as they say, viral. But that's an understatement for it's not every day (or decade for that matter) that a cephalopod mollusc of the octopoda order can make front pages and audio and visual feeds to the extent Inky did.

It fascinated and intrigued me as I called by the aquarium to get a close look at the escape trail and I came away inspired by the skills and determination of a slimy thing with four sets of arms (they are not legs).

As a child I used to be afraid of octopus because they simply looked scary, but today I am filled with admiration at their intelligence, curiosity and powers of observation.

Inky made a plan and he executed it. He knew where to go and how to get there. It appears he sensed the aroma of the ocean emerging from a drainage pipe system which led there.

So he waited until the warders had all gone home to bed and set his radar to head east.

As aquarium manager Rob Yarrell said, they are great escape artists as they have the ability to compress themselves down to pretty well nothing.

He wasn't the first to slip and slide into the public eye - at the Island Bay marine education centre in Wellington an octopus was found to be in the habit of visiting another tank overnight to steal crabs before returning to its own.

Inky's antics are now internationally renowned, and applauded, although some animal rights groups were not impressed he had been "caged" in the first place.

But he had a fine home from what I saw and got plenty of kids interested in finding out more about him and his ocean colleagues ... that's a good thing.

His escape was a genuine attention grabber and a colourful diversion from darker events - if only Inky knew what he'd done.

Oh, and I hope he made it back to the reef okay - if that was able to be confirmed I think even Parliament would be interrupted to be given the news.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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