A real-life incident that recently came to light reads like something out of the marine adventure “Finding Nemo.” The AP reports that the escape of Inky the octopus left his former keepers at the National Aquarium of New Zealand amazed and impressed — even though they already knew the animal was smart.
Inky, who had been rehabbing at the aquarium for about a year after being rescued in bad shape following an attack by an unknown predator, made his getaway about three months ago — under cover of night, after the staff had gone home.
“He squeezed and pushed his way through a tiny gap in the mesh at the top of his tank and slithered 2 meters (6.6 feet) to the floor. Then he made a beeline across the room to a drain hole,” the AP reports. “With a body the size of a rugby ball, Inky managed to stretch out and squeeze into the hole. From there, he shimmied down the 50-meter (164-foot) pipe until he was back in the Pacific Ocean.”
The creature, who had impressed keepers with his intelligence during his stay at the aquarium, has not been seen since his escape. He was reportedly back in good health when he made his move.
“He used to come up and you could hand-feed him,” said aquarium manager Rob Yarrall. “He’d grab hold of you with the suckers on his tentacles, or squirt water at you. And he worked out how to screw the top off a jar.”