Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Eleanora the giant Pacific octopus returns to the Salish Sea

image courtesy Florian Graner

Eleanora the octopus, a former resident in our aquarium, seems content in her new den in Admiralty Inlet 

On Tuesday, August 27, with much coordination and care, we transferred Eleanora from the tank in the aquarium back to the waters of Admiralty Inlet where she was found (click first image below to read more and watch video). The dive team, that included our aquarist Ali Redman and documentarian Florian Graner, carried her to her new home where a den in a hollow log had been located for her (click second image for video). She immediately captured and ate the crab that she found there. Florian returned a day later to follow-up and he is happy to report that Eleanora is thriving in her new space.

Ecstatic thank-yous go out to: our aquarist Ali Redman and all our volunteers and AmeriCorps for keeping Eleanora safe and stimulated during her stay with us; to all the docents for helping visitors understand this complex, graceful creature; to our donors for supporting our work inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea (and the octopuses within); and to our visitors who came and marveled at one of our aquarium's most charismatic animal ambassadors. And thank you to filmmaker, Florian Graner who has documented Eleanora's stay in our aquarium and will help her story reach even more people.

Next time you look out on the Salish Sea, think about Eleanora and all the yummy crab she's eating.

PS -- Read more about Eleanora's release in this Sept. 4 article appearing in the Port Townsend Leader.

Enjoy the videos below!

We released Eleanora the octopus back to the Salish Sea this afternoon. 1. Eleanora all ready to go in her lift bucket in our holding tank. 2. Aquarist Ali Redman and specialist Ellie Kravets pull the lid off. Suspense heightens among all onlookers. 3. Ali and Ellie lift Eleanora out of the tank and pour her into the transport bin. 4. Intern Sophie (l) and Ellie (r) carry Eleanora down the steps of the dock to be released. 5. Aquarist Ali In snorkel receives Eleanora into the Salish Sea saltwater, to transport to project leader Florian Graner. 6. Florian takes the handoff of the octopus and guides Eleanora to her new undersea den. Florian reports that Eleanora loves her new home, and will check in on her tomorrow at high tide. We at #PTMSC are honored to have hosted Eleanora for the Octopus Project. Thank you all who have encouraged us with your excitement about learning about this amazing creature of the #SalishSea .
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