NEWPORT – The Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center is looking for a new giant Pacific Octopus to occupy its central public tank, empty since the demise of its previous octopus, Patriot, a few months ago.
The octopus tank is one of the center’s most popular exhibits, and helps teach thousands of visitors young and old about cephalopod behavior and biology during three-times-a-week public feedings. It’s also the star of the OctoCam, a live, streaming, 24-hour Web cam that gives Internet users a glimpse of how the animals live in a simulated ocean environment.
The center’s animal husbandry staff typically receive young octopuses as donations from commercial or recreational fishermen who bring the curious, intelligent animals up in crab pots and other fishing gear, but none have been offered, so aquarists are trying to get the word out.
Donors get to choose the new octopus’s name, and know that they are helping teach the public about marine animals and conservation.
For more information, or to donate an octopus, call (541) 867-0215 or (410) 991-9753.
The HMSC Visitor Center is open from 10 am to 5 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is by donation.