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Octopus Breaks out of New Zealand Aquarium, Escapes to Ocean

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An octopus made a daring escape worthy of a movie.

An octopus in New Zealand made a daring “great escape” from an aquarium to the ocean and freedom.

The odd incident happened a couple months ago at the National Aquarium of New Zealand but news of the daring breakout is just now emerging. An octopus is limited in the spaces it can squeeze through only by the size of their beak. And a common New Zealand octopus named Inky, found a small gap at the top of his tank.

Insert the theme music for the 1963 film “The Great Escape” over a mental image of the octopus squeezing out the gap in the tank here. Once on the floor, CNN reports he made his way about eight feet across the floor and to a drain over a seawater runoff pipe that empties into Hawke’s Bay.

The aquarium’s manager, Rob Yarrell said Inky probably hatched his escape plan when he heard the water running in the pipe.

“While he was with us, he would have learned a lot,” Yarrell told CNN. “He was the type that was inquisitive, and a bit wiser than we thought.”

The escape actually comes as no surprise to the aquarium. “Octopus are very intelligent, very inquisitive and like to push the boundaries,” Yarrell said. “This particular one was very friendly and intelligent and obviously found a weak spot in the top of his tank.”

Inky was originally brought to the aquarium by a local fisherman. Yarrell suspects he’s back home enjoying his natural habitat on the sea floor.

The aquarium plans to continue keeping octopus, but Inky won’t have to worry. The aquarium isn’t planning to search for him. But perhaps he’s made things more difficult for future potential octopus escapees.

“We’ll chalk this up to experience,” Yarrell told CNN.



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Octopus Breaks out of New Zealand Aquarium, Escapes to Ocean