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Intelligence Enrichment program for Giant Pacific Octopus?

cbarela

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
44
#1
Has anyone ever heard of enrichment programs for Giant Pacific Octopus? Something similar to the programs that zoos sometimes do with great apes where the apes can, when they are so inclined, enter a room and work at a computer. I am looking for something unique that would give an octopus on public display an enriching activity or environment that would also be exciting for guests to watch or interact with. I don't want to settle for the traditional, "Let toss a Mr. Potatohead into the tank." Has anyone seen an exhibit that allows the octopus to leave its tank for another? Thoughts? ideas?
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#2
I am assuming you have gone to YouTube for ideas. The only things I have seen are the feeding toys or feeding interaction that are shown there. We have a new GPO exhibit here (I have not been since it opened, two days after my last visit :hmm: ) and you might contact the GA Aquarium to see if they have implemented anything innovative (this is their third attempt at an environment for the GPO). Unfortunately, I could find nothing of interest about the exhibit on the website.
 

Cephalover

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
10
#3
All I can think of is a bigger tank, perhaps stocked with shellfish. Besides giving them more space to "forage" in, there's doesn't seem like much to do besides (as you mention) giving them objects to manipulate.
 

Stavros

GPO
Registered
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
168
Location
American University of Kuwait
#4
Hi,

In case you haven't read it yet, I'd suggest:

Anderson, R. C.,& Wood, J. B. (2001). Enrichment for giant Pacific octopuses: Happy as a clam? Journal
of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 4, 157–168.

http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/_pdf/2001Enrichment.pdf

At the Seattle Aquarium, we also have used this propensity of tasting with
their suckers to facilitate getting large (and strong) octopuses out of their tanks
with a minimal amount of stress. We smear herring fluids on the lip and outer surface
of the tank, and the octopuses pursue the “phantom” herring and crawl out by
themselves (Anderson, 1998). Obviously, this method would work to train the octopus
to do other tasks.
Hope it helps.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#5
He forgot to add "and be sure to use and change gloves before interacting" (sorry, but that quote brought up a vision of the octo byte picture) :wink:.
 

ceph

Wonderpus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 20, 2002
Messages
198
Location
West Palm Beach, Florida
#9
details. . .

Anyway, the field of enrichment is wide open for new ideas.

What is really needed on the science side is a few more controlled experiments that measure the effect of enrichment on octopus health.
 

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