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The Great Escape: Octopus Slips Out of Aquarium Tank and Finds His Way to the Ocean

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Where’s Inky? Just follow the suction cup prints. 

According to The Washington Post, that’s what the staff at New Zealand’s National Aquarium did when they noticed one of their octopi was missing. And those tracks led right to a drain that empties out into the ocean. 

Keepers at the aquarium believe Inky noticed the gap accidentally left by maintenance workers at the top of his enclosure, said “ta-ta” to his tank-mate and plopped down on the floor, making his way down a 6-inch-wide floor drain. The fit may seem tight, but Inky isn’t just an intelligent creature, he is also a malleable one. From the pipe it was only a few quick shoves until Inky found himself back in the Pacific Ocean among his wild brethren. 

“He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean. And off he went,” aquarium manager Rob Yarrall told Radio New Zealand. “And he didn’t even leave us a message.”

Inky made his prison break several months ago, but the aquarium just made news of the shocking escape public. Many fans of the octopus, who came to the museum in 2014 after being caught in a crayfish pot, applauded Inky for his Shawshank move. 

While keepers say Inky had adjusted to captive life, they also said the cephalopod could get bored very easily, which is normal for these sea creatures who love to take things apart and create mischief. 

Now that Inky is out in the Pacific stretching his tentacles, the aquarium is keeping a close eye on its remaining octopus, just in case his tank-mate’s escape gave him any ideas.