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Hatfield releases octopus, seeks replacement

Modified: Friday, Aug 22nd, 2014

Aquarists Bethany Cronin and Paul Hoffman release Velma the octopus back into the wild Wednesday morning at the old boat ramp behind Rogue Brewery. (Photo by Dani Palmer)

NEWPORT — The release of Hatfield Marine Science Center’s resident octopus Wednesday morning was fairly uneventful. Yet it was still notably different from others.

There is no octopus waiting to take the releasee’s place this time.

The giant Pacific octopuses displayed in the Hatfield visitor center are often obtained through donations from fishermen who catch the invertebrates in nets and on lines by accident. With two holding tanks in the back, there’s typically one waiting to go.

But this time, aquarists are asking the public for donations.

“There’s never a time we’re not looking for one,” senior aquarist Colleen Newberg said.

Aquarists released Velma back into the wild Wednesday behind Rogue Brewery at the old boat launch. The octopus had been at the marine science center since April and was named for a volunteer’s mother, Newberg said.

For the complete article see the 08-22-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-22-2014 paper.

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