Pollsters name octopus after Transformer chief

West Coasters decided to stave off the Decepticons and name the Ucluelet aquarium’s newest Giant Pacific Octopus ‘Octopus Prime.’

Octopus Prime replaced Polly who was released to much fan fare over the Ukee Days weekend.

Polly had been named by Salty Dog Fishing Charters who had brought her to the aquarium and Polly’s predecessor was named Jacqtopus after Jacque Cousteau by aquarium staff.

Octopus Prime is the first octopus to be named by a public vote and the aquarium’s communications coordinator Jessie Fletcher was stoked on the public’s response.

“The community was super engaged, we were extraordinarily overwhelmed,” she said. “People were coming down specifically to submit their names for our octopus.”

Locals submitted over 300 namenominations and aquarium staff widdled these down to three finalists for online voters to pick from: Octopus Prime, George Stroumbouloctopus, and Mr. Big Head. Octopus Prime beat out George

Stroumbouloctopus-after popular CBC personality and former MuchMusic VJ George Stroumboulopoulos- by just 14 votes with Mr. Big Head finishing a distant third.

Octopus Prime weighs in at about 4 kilograms and will likely be released back into the wild in about four months triple the size.

The aquarium hosts three to five octopuses each year as part of its catch and release program as the animals can grow rapidly.

Octopus Prime’s predecessor Polly arrived at the aquarium in May weighing about 5 kg and was up to 16 g when she was released about three months later, according to Fletcher.

She said Giant Pacific Octopuses can grow as huge as 270 kilograms.

The animal is a key feature at Ucluelet’s Aquarium and a “big time” draw for tourists and locals, according to Fletcher.

“The octopus is probably our public’s favourite animal,” she said. “Patrons love the octopus.”

One reason for the octopuses popularity is its graceful movement, which is made possible by a nine-brained system, according to the aquarium’s animal care coordinator and senior biologist Carly Janusson.

“They have a brain in each arm and one in the head, that’s why they can move their arms around so delicately,” she said.

Each arm is equipped with chemoreceptors allowing the animal to taste with its arms.

“They literally taste their environment,” Janusson said.

She said there are increased measures for taking care on a octopus but the extra effort is well worth the result and added octopuses are a top attractor for larger aquariums as well.

She referenced a visitor survey conducted at the Monterey Bay aquarium that revealed the octopus as a key draw.

“Even an aquarium where they have huge sharks and tuna and marine mammals the octopus out-

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

The long winding road to Tofino-Ucluelet—then and now

If you are feeling frustrated about the Highway 4 closures, sit back read about what came before.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Farm and Garden Show coming to Tofino

Greenthumbs unite at the Tofino Botanical Gardens from Feb. 22-24.

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

VIDEO: Massive elk herd runs across Washington State highway

Elk have been making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Most Read