Better late than never: Giant octopus finally arrives

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Humans aren't the only ones whose travel plans can be delayed by bad weather. For several weeks, the crew at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium had been anticipating the arrival of our Giant Pacific Octopus from a facility in Vancouver. Unfortunately, due to the record snow, rain and flooding in the northwest, it was simply too cold to ship our new amazing invertebrate in time for the aquarium grand opening last month.

All that changed a few days ago when our staff aquarists unveiled one of the planet's most intelligent sea creatures to the public. As its name suggests, the Giant Pacific Octopus is the largest species of octopus found anywhere in the world. Its range extends over the northern Pacific Ocean from California northward to the arctic waters of the Aleutian Islands and then southward to Japan. These animals have been reported to reach an arm span of 25 feet across at a weight of 400lbs.

Octopuses have highly developed brains and vision and are known as clever hunters. For mental and physical stimulation, aquarists often provide these animals with behavioral enrichment items such as food sealed in closed containers. It usually doesn't take long for them to use their tentacles to unscrew or pop open lids!

So be sure to check out our latest arrival along with hundreds of other species of aquatic animals at the all-new Wildlife World Aquarium.

Grey Stafford, Ph.D. is the Director of Conservation and Communications at the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium and author of the new pet-training book, " ". He appears frequently on 3TV with some of the zoo's fascinating animals.

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, which is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, is open 365 days a year, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Daytime admission is $26.50 (plus tax) for adults and $14.25 (plus tax) for children 3 to 12; children 2 and younger get in free. Special evening admission to the Aquarium only is $16.99 (plus tax) for adults and $8.99 (plus tax) for children 3 to 12. For more information, call 623-935-WILD (9453) or visit .