A giant Pacific octopus is settling in to her luxurious new surroundings at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
The new feature, which has been designed by marine biologists, includes a series of environmental enrichment initiatives and also allows greater interaction between aquarists and the octopus.
Themed as a rusting shipwreck, the display features underwater pipes and acrylic tubing which the octopus can explore and rest in alongside shaded recesses and a variety of different textures – all designed to provide mental stimulation for the giant cephalopod.
The new enclosure also includes a number of different background colours and textures which the octopus can mimic to camouflage herself.
Blue Reef’s Lara Mingay said: “She is settling in really well and actually ate within the first hour of being in the new enclosure, which is an excellent sign she’s happy.
“She has a few toys in the enclosure including a rope which she likes to climb, and a pink toy puzzle ball.
However her favourite is a large tube that she likes to sit in and float around the enclosure. She also uses the rope to play tug of war with the aquarists,” she added.
As well as providing easier access for aquarists and a more stimulating environment for the octopus, the new enclosure features better viewing opportunities for the public and includes a low-level bubble window into the display for younger visitors.
To celebrate the new display staff are inviting visitors to suggest an appropriate name for the female octopus, which they describe as playful, bold and inquisitive.
They are also running a ‘guess the number of suckers’ competition throughout the summer holidays.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information please contact Melissa Hallam, Lara Mingay or Steve Matchett on 01637 878134.