Octopus to be Released on Oregon Coast; Birders Events
(Newport, Oregon) – Everyone who's ever visited the central Oregon coast attraction Hatfield Marine Science Center as a kid vividly remembers its octopus in the front. It’s a tradition in Oregon that goes all the way back to the early 70’s. No, it’s not been the same octopus all these decades: in fact there’s a new one nearly every year.
The Hatfield's latest octo-pal Amigo will be released back into the wild on Wednesday, December 16, while some high-profile events for fans of Oregon coast birds are planned for this month as well – also at the Hatfield.
Hatfield spokesman Bill Hanshumaker seemed a little sad to see the giant Pacific octopus go.
“At 10:30, we will gather at the aquarium, where Bill Lund and I will entice Amigo into a large garbage can for transport,” Hanshumaker said. “High tide is at 11 a.m., and we will be releasing the octopus at the third finger on the South Jetty. Please join us to bid adieu to this impressive animal.”
Hanshumaker said Giant Pacific octopuses have a finite life span of about just a few years.
“We seldom keep any octopus longer than nine months, and release them for reproduction,” he said.
The giant pacific octopus dies shortly after reproducing – so this is one heck of a last hurrah.
The Hatfield has a new octopus, as yet unnamed. But the public is invited to help name the creature, and the new name will be announced on Octopus Day, January 9. Call the Hatfield at 541-867-0100 to submit your octopus name. These must be submitted by December 31.
A name will be drawn on Octopus Day and the winner notified. If your name is chosen you will have your picture taken with the new octopus and receive a prize
During Octopus Day, children's activities will be held all day, including a coloring contest. Prizes will be awarded at 11:30 and 3 p.m. Hatfield Center staff will announce the name of the new octopus before the 1 p.m. feeding. After the feeding will be a comparative necropsy of two squid and an octopus.
The Visitor Center will be open every day December 26th through 31 from 10 to 4 p.m. Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 Marine Science Dr., Newport, Oregon. Admission by suggested donation. 541-867-0100. http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu
For those interested in coastal and sea birds, Thursday, December 17 brings a special program about them to the Hatfield. Ram Papish presents "Bogoslof: The Island of Fire and Ice in the Bering Sea,” at 7 p.m. in the Education Wing Room 30/32, in the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Use the staff entrance (not the entrance to the Visitor's Center), follow the signs, and park near the Library. Cost is free.
This tiny, isolated island in the Bering Sea is experiencing a wildlife population boom even as other colonies decline. Ram and five other researchers had a rare opportunity to spend a summer on Bogoslof to study the predatory/prey dynamics that could be a key to explaining these dramatic ecosystem shifts.
Ram is a wildlife photographer and artist (http://www.rampapish.com/) as well as a biologist.Contact Range Bayer at 541-265-2965 for more information.
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