Octopus breaks out of aquarium and escapes back to the sea
An octopus named Inky has successfully broken out of the National Aquarium in New Zealand and escaped back to the sea.
In scenes echoing the film Finding Nemo, staff believe the common New Zealand octopus made a bid for freedom by breaking out of its tank after it was accidentally left ajar.
He likely climbed to the top of his cage, down the side of the tank, and then travelled four metres across the aquarium floor to a 50-metre-long drainpipe that led to the waters of Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island.
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According to the Guardian, Rob Yarrell, national manager of the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, said: "Octopuses are famous escape artists.
"But Inky really tested the waters here. I don't think he was unhappy with us, or lonely, as octopus are solitary creatures.
"But he is such a curious boy. He would want to know what's happening on the outside. That's just his personality.
"The staff and I have been pretty sad. But then, this is Inky, and he's always been a bit of a surprise octopus."
Another possible escape route could have seen Inky squeezing into an open pipe at the top of his tank that led to the drainpipe under the floor.
Speaking to Stuff.co.nz, Rob said that Inky is around the size of a rugby ball, but that octopuses can squeeze themselves through almost any shape, explaining: "As long as it's mouth can fit.
"Their bodies are squishy but they have a beak, like a parrot."
Inky was given to the aquarium in 2014 when a fisherman caught him in a cray pot. He reportedly had a few "battle scars" including shortened limbs,
The aquarium, which has one other octopus, said it was not looking for another octopus to replace Inky, but would be happy to accept another if it came along.
Rob added: "You never know. There's always a chance Inky could come home to us."