An octopus at New Zealand’s National Aquarium has made a daring escape to the sea by fitting its rugby-ball-sized body through a small pipe.
Staff at the aquarium in Napier noticed the enclosure, which previously housed two octopuses was left with a single inhabitant earlier this year.
Inky, a male common New Zealand octopus, had escaped.
Staff found octopus tracks, which showed he began his journey by slipping through a small gap in the top of his enclosure before travelling across a wet floor.
He found a drain, about 150 millimetres in diameter, which led to the sea, and made a dash for freedom.
Rob Yarrall from the National Aquarium said Inky was about the size of a rugby ball but octopuses could stretch themselves to extremes, allowing them to squeeze through almost any space.
“As long as it’s mouth can fit,” Yarrall said.
“Their bodies are squishy but they have a beak, like a parrot.”
Since his disappearance aquarium staff have missed Inky, who was popular with staff and visitors, but they were pleased to see him return to the ocean, Yarrall said.