Octopus Valentine’s Day Sex Session Scrapped Over Cannibalism Fears
The Seattle Aquarium’s octopus was due to spend Valentine’s Day having sex, but the mating session was canceled over concerns he’d make his female companion his lunch rather than his lover, KOMO reported.
Staff said the 70-pound Kong was way too big for his fellow female cephalopods at the aquarium, who tip the scales at just 30 to 40 pounds each. Worried he’d end up eating them, the staff scrapped the popular event and Kong was joined in his tank by a diver instead.
“We’ve never seen an animal that was ready to mate that was smaller than 35 pounds,” Tim Carpenter, the aquarium’s curator of fish and invertebrates, explained to CrossCut.com. “Beyond that, we won’t even bother.”
Giant Pacific octopuses like Kong live between three to five years and grow to around 90 pounds, according to the aquarium’s website. Dubbed “terminal breeders,” they start looking for sex towards the end of their lives. Males die soon after doing the deed.
Females lay eggs and tend to them, but they don’t eat and waste away, usually dying once their offspring hatch.
The aquarium’s Valentine’s Day octopus “Blind Date” has been held annually for 10 years. The 8-legged creatures are kept in separate spaces until the event. Whether they actually mate, or just ignore each other, is pretty much the luck of the draw.
“A blind date is a blind date, and you never know how it’s going to go,” said Carpenter.
Kong’s exact age is not known. He’ll be released back into the Puget Sound inlet on Monday, Regional News Network reported.
Here’s hoping Kong enjoys his final months, and gets to experience a little love.
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